Is Disney about to go Full Encanto? We’ll discuss the possibility in this month’s Disney Rumors!
Let’s Talk Encanto
One of my other gigs involves streaming media analysis. I run a podcast called Streaming into the Void, wherein we discuss several topics.
Nielsen’s streaming ratings provide one of the recurring conversations. And what I can tell you is that Encanto has excelled under the new rating system.
Historically, in the movie industry, a film does well on weekend, the time when demand opening proves highest.
You can think of opening weekend filmgoers as early adopters. Unfortunately, most films lose a steady percentage of box office and ticket sales after that first weekend.
Only a few genres can lessen the impact. Specifically, romantic comedies, ones that skew toward adults 35 and over, and awards season titles do well.
Thus far, streaming video has behaved similarly. Even blockbuster hits like Tiger King and The Umbrella Academy declined in demand over time.
Usually, the same behavior applies to the music charts as well. And now you can probably guess where I’m going with this.
Early in 2022, one title has defeated this behavior. Yes, Encanto has steadily risen up the music charts and then held at the top for both singles and albums.
Meanwhile, Encanto has locked down the number one spot on Nielsen’s streaming category for movies.
As a reminder, this film came out in theaters during the Thanksgiving holiday. Therefore, it should NOT remain this popular three months later.
Even Spider-Man: No Way Home lost nearly 90 percent of its weekend box office after a month.
People naturally move on to new shiny things. It’s who we are.
How then can we explain the sustained success of Encanto? The answer ties back to an earlier Disney phenomenon.
The Frozen Playbook
In 2013, Frozen opened in wide release during that same Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
Over the next few weeks, the film proved extremely popular at a time when the theatrical experience was approaching its peak.
However, the real story of Frozen centers on the musical performance of Let It Go.
The beloved song wouldn’t even chart until mid-February of 2014, nearly three months after the film’s release.
Over the next three months, Let It Go continued to crawl up the charts, ultimately reaching number four on the Top 100 on May 31St.
The month of May was really when Let It Go became a cultural touchstone and thereby provided Disney with a new park identity.
Yes, 2014 turned into the summer of Frozen at Disney theme parks, and the momentum didn’t stop there.
In 2015 and 2016, Elsa & Anna remained so popular that seemingly one out of every three kids dressed like a Frozen character for Halloween.
At EPCOT, the royal sisters debuted at the Royal Sommerhus at the Norway pavilion. Here’s an official park video about it:
Of course, by this point, Disney had already committed to a new Frozen attraction. In 2014, the Norway pavilion closed Maelstrom, a 26-year-old attraction.
The replacement, Frozen Ever After, proved immensely popular when it opened in 2016 and maintains hour-long waits to this day.
Over time, Jungle Cruise Skippers even incorporated a quip to acknowledge Disney’s commitment to the Frozen brand.
They pointed to something and said, “That’s the only thing that isn’t Frozen at Walt Disney World.” Everybody laughed because it felt so true.
Barely three years after it opened in theaters, Frozen had turned into an anchor product for Disney. And that brings us to…
Encanto Is Coming
The Main Street Electrical Parade turns 50 this year. It’s a remarkable achievement for a parade that park officials never intended to last.
I mean, Disney has shut down the Main Street Electrical Parade more times than you can count, partially because parts of it seem so dated.
Well, Disney just revealed that the 50th-anniversary version of the parade will include new floats, ones that replace outdated parts of the spectacle.
Yes, Encanto factors heavily into these changes. The new finale comes with a seven-segment float, with Antonio and Mirabel playing a huge part in it.
Folks, let me be clear. Disney has modernized a 50-year-old parade with characters that didn’t even exist until three months ago.
That statement alone signals the massive plans Disney has for Encanto at the parks.
In fact, Lin-Manuel Miranda, the beloved entertainer and lyricist, has acknowledged grander ambitions for Encanto.
During an interview, Miranda stated: “I know there’s a world in which this casita lives in a theme park and we actually walk through in real life.”
He added the following:
“Well, I took my kids to Disneyland for the first time pre-pandemic a few years ago.
And we sat through The Little Mermaid thing five times in a row. That’s where my brain goes.
It’s like, I want to go in and out of this casita and see those characters and see the house respond because that’s something Disney can do that no one else can do.”
Miranda acknowledged that he has already pitched Disney CEO Bob Chapek on this idea. And this is where I return to a previous comment.
A few years ago, I mentioned the open secret that Disney coveted a strong relationship with the creator of Hamilton.
Since then, Miranda has worked on Moana, Mary Poppins Returns, and Encanto.
He also sold the Hamilton movie rights to Disney and (surprisingly) agreed to an exclusive Disney+ debut.
Miranda has proven himself a content machine for Disney. They want to keep him happy because he’s capable of much more.
If the musician wants an Encanto ride, he’s getting one. In fact, I strongly suspect he’s thinking too small here.
Disney has already added a Mirabel character interaction at Disney California Adventure. In addition, one of the EPCOT food booths during a recent festival served Encanto food as well.
We’re facing a future with HEAVY Encanto elements at Disney parks around the world.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Disney announced the construction of the Encanto house one day soon.
The ride that Miranda pitched seems inevitable, possibly as the anchor attraction for the long-rumored Brazil pavilion, even though the film is technically set in Colombia.
Just before the 2019 D23 Expo, everyone expected the Brazil pavilion’s announcement as it would tie into Encanto, an already-announced movie at the time.
With another D23 just around the corner, I strongly suspect that Imagineers are currently plotting what they can and can’t do with the magical house.
By the way, I don’t even rule out the possibility of an entire Encanto themed land. After all, Frozen is getting one at three different Disney theme parks.