Tron: Legacy will open in theaters December 17th and will be playing during the most lucrative three week period of the year when the holiday season is fully in session. Many countries around the world will be opening the movie on the same day or within a couple of weeks, setting up a potentially huge box office haul in the international marketplace. In 2010, Disney has already capitalized on the business afforded by moviegoers around the world with the success of Alice in Wonderland, which opened in March, and its Pixar animated monster summer hit Toy Story 3. Both movies scored well with audiences and each film brought in more than $1 billion in box office receipts across the globe, making Disney the first studio ever to produce two $1 billion movies within a year. Despite their huge achievement this year with Alice and Toy Story 3, Disney has a legitimate shot at taking it even further by producing a billionaire triumvirate in a single year with the upcoming release of Tron: Legacy. Here are the reasons why Disney’s goal of three $1 billion movies are not out of reach.
We have waited long and hard for Tron: Legacy since the release of its exciting teaser trailer which premiered in last year’s Comic-Con Festival. The Comic-Con attendees and several people in the San Diego area were the first to witness the awe-inspiring digital effects that seem to comprise a significant portion of the movie, but not soon after, millions of people were exposed to the trailer and it was viewed repeatedly by many. Disney’s marketing and strong word-of-mouth has built up a large fanbase for the movie over the past year and moviegoers are counting down the days til the opening of the movie.
The movie’s prequel, Tron, was released in 1982 and it enjoyed a moderately successful run at the box office, while critics generally praised the movie for its outstanding special effects. More importantly, elements of the movie, in particular the light cycling, continued to be incorporated into popular culture for years to come indicating that the original movie was memorable within the general population. Disney’s marketing seems to not only be geared towards younger audiences which the genre is usually catered to, but to the older generation as well, with trailer scenes that breed familiarity within this particular age group. In addition to a new and younger fanbase, this movie has a following of nostalgic older adults.
3. The Popularity of 3D
Ever since the record-shattering success of James Cameron’s 3D movie Avatar which opened less than a year ago, the popularity of the 3D medium has hit new highs. A multitude of movies opened this year boasting 3D effects, including the billionaire successes of Alice and Toy Story 3. Having witnessed the success of 3D movies, studios have been producing sequels in the 3D format, as was in the case of the fourth movie of the Resident Evil franchise which went on to become a worldwide success, with a significant margin of increase at the box office over its three predecessors. 3D is more popular than ever and it seems to be taking the world by storm. The release of Tron: Legacy in 3D is bound to be an event that holiday moviegoers will not want to miss out on, like Avatar last winter. And the premium ticket prices for 3D only helps to rake in more money.