Disney-Pixar's newest animated film Coco, was released on Nov. 22 — and not even a week later, it's already being hailed by many as the best Pixar flick since Inside Out. It seems Coco creators have struck a nerve with this heartwarming tale, which centers around a boy named Miguel who makes an unexpected visit to the Land of the Dead on the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos. With the help of his departed family members, the 12-year-old aspiring musician learns the truth about his family's past while also realizing the importance of honoring and remembering ancestors. The story was so compelling and visually gorgeous, in fact, that fans probably already wondering: Will there be a Coco sequel? Unfortunately, it's probably way too soon to tell for sure.
One thing's for sure, though: Coco dominated the box office over the holiday weekend. The New York Times reported that the movie brought in $71 million domestically over the five-day Thanksgiving weekend, coming in at the fourth-highest grossing Thanksgiving opener ever. Considering the top three spots belong to Frozen ($94 million) Moana ($82 million) and Toy Story 3 ($80 million,) Coco didn't do too shabby.
I'd be willing to bet the movie's amazing performance (so far) could very well earn it a sequel. But how long would we have to wait?
As a point of reference, let's take a look at the typical Disney sequel timeline, shall we? Frozen was released in 2013, and as TODAY reported, Frozen 2 will be hitting theaters on Nov. 27, 2019. That's a six-year difference — that is, if you don't count the shorts, Frozen Fever in 2015 before the live-action Cinderella and Olaf's Frozen Adventure in 2017 before Coco.
What about the Toy Story saga? The original Toy Story was released in 1995, with Toy Story 2 debuting in 1999 and Toy Story 3 debuting in 2010. According to Entertainment Weekly, Toy Story 4 currently has a release date of June 21, 2019. That's a difference of four years, 11 years and nine years, respectively.
Similarly, it looks like there are five years each between The Lion King in 1994, The Lion King 2 in 1999 and The Lion King 1 1/2 in 2004. Based on this information — and the fact that Coco did so well during its opening weekend — I'd have to say as my personal prediction that the earliest we could expect a Coco sequel would be 2023.
Since Disney acquired Pixar in 2006, it seems the likelihood of sequels has only increased. As Christopher Orr explains in a movie review of Coco published in The Atlantic, Pixar has been pumping out a ton of sequels in recent years. Maybe that's part of the reason Coco has been so well-received; it's a breath of fresh air. Orr touches on Pixar's shift in cinematic philosophy since it was acquired by Disney, writing for The Atlantic:
Where the studio once aspired to excellence with every single picture — Pixar president Ed Catmull wrote an entire book expressing this ideal, Creativity, Inc. — it now seems content to roll out a few profitable, hyper-merchandise-friendly sequels for every genuinely original feature it unveils. (To put it another way, the studio has shifted away from “creativity” and toward “inc.”)
In the meantime, here's a look at what's coming up next in the Disney-Pixar realm. June 15, 2018 is the release date for Incredibles 2, according to Entertainment Weekly. (Side note: has it really been 14 years since The Incredibles? Holy crap!) Based on the teaser trailer for the movie, it looks like the story will pick right back up where it left off in 2004, with the realization of Jack-Jack's super powers. Seems promising.
Entertainment Weekly also reported that on June 21, 2019, Toy Story 4 will hit theaters. Although not much has been revealed about this movie's plot, we can probably expect a romantic subplot between Woody and Bo Peep, according to Us Weekly.
As I sit here and contemplate what a Coco sequel plot line might entail, I'm honestly at a loss for ideas. One spoiler ahead, but maybe it could feature Miguel's little sister, whom we see as a baby at the very end of the story? It would definitely have to include another adventure into the Land of the Dead, that's for sure. But in what context? Meh, let's leave it to the creative geniuses over at Pixar to work out the details. If/when a Coco sequel were to become a reality, count me in for opening weekend!
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