Disney pushed back the release dates of Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 and Gigantic, as part of a much larger set of release date announcements from the Mouse House. Nominated for a Best Animated Feature Oscar, Wreck-It Ralph, of course, was a blockbuster hit for Disney in 2012, and fans were buzzing when the studio announced at CinemaCon the long-anticipated sequel was set to debut March 2018. Excitement has been brewing over Gigantic, too, when Inside Out co-writer Meg LaFauve was set to co-direct the film, which takes its inspiration from Jack and the Beanstalk.
The wait was extended for both films Tuesday, though, and in the case of Gigantic, it’s been extended quite a bit longer. Disney announced that Ralph Breaks the Internet has been pushed back eight months to a Nov. 21, 2018, release; while Gigantic has been moved back two full years, from Nov. 21, 2018, to Nov. 25, 2020.
In addition to the moves for the two animated films, Disney made several big announcements Tuesday regarding its upcoming film slate, pegging release dates for Star Wars: Episode IX, Indiana Jones 5 and Frozen 2.
A move on the schedule seems to make the most sense for the Wreck-It Ralph sequel, where this time the 8-bit video game character’s exploits are propelled via a Wi-Fi connection from the arcade out into the vast environs of the internet. While March has become a profitable launch spot for feature films in recent years – including Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast last month – a November release date plugs Ralph Breaks the Internet not only into a lucrative holiday moviegoing season, but smack-dab in the middle of awards season.
The news doesn’t appear to bode as well for Gigantic. On one hand, the move makes sense in that it prevents one Disney animated film competing with one another during awards season. The studio probably doesn’t want to face the same quandary it had this year when both Zootopia and Moana vied for Oscar consideration, even though Zootopia, which ultimately won the Best Animated Feature award, was released months earlier.
As for why Gigantic was bumped for two full years is a question that has yet to be answered. While it could be more going on behind the scenes with the film than we know about, what seems more likely is that Frozen 2 was given priority over Gigantic, meaning the latter wound up moving back two years, in order to allow the Frozen sequel to comfortably take its 2019 date. If Disney’s problem is finding the right dates for too many promising films, that’s a good problem for any studio to have.