The Walt Disney Company

Disney Should Tell ‘Pirates’ Hackers To Go Walk The Plank

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Deadline reports that high-tech hackers have stolen a copy of Walt Disney’s upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales two weeks before its May 26th opening day. The group threatens, so says The Hollywood Reporter, to release the Johnny Depp sequel in pieces, starting with the five-minute prologue and then in additional 20-minute chunks.

Disney CEO Bob Iger is currently refusing to pay a ransom, which means he is ignoring the advice both the FBI’s hacker units and Delroy Lindo. Disney is right to call their bluff. While the film being available online prior to release wouldn’t help the box office, recent history shows that it wouldn’t do that much damage either.

Now, for the record, online piracy is usually disastrous for a film. It can have horrific consequences for countless smaller and art-house offerings that end up on torrent sites the minute they are released via video-on-demand platforms. And even with the major studios, online piracy still hurts a movie like Midnight Special a heck of a lot more than Batman v Superman, which in turn discourages studios from distributing movies of that nature. At the end of the day, it’s still the online equivalent of shoplifting.

Removing morality from the equation for a moment, I would argue at the moment that the potential online leakage of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest may have minimal effect on the film’s global box office.

We’ve seen this play out a few times over the last decade, and pretty much every major case has had little to no effect on the eventual box-office take. The online release of a DVD-quality copy of Liam Neeson’s Taken, the R-rated version no less, was available online months before the film’s theatrical release in early 2009. Taken and Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino, which also got leaked during what is now a regular part of the awards season (critics groups and awards groups get DVD screeners of award-friendly movies and those films tend to end up online), also did boffo box office that year, earning $145 million and $148m respectively in North America alone.

And in April 2009, a DVD-quality workprint of X-Men Origins: Wolverine somehow popped up online a month before its release. We all speculated as to the financial effect, but in the end, the terribly reviewed film still opened with $85 million and ended up with $373m worldwide with a vibrant post-theatrical lifespan. Since then, the most high-profile leak of a major movie came in August 2014, when The Expendables 3 was released in a DVD-quality copy three weeks prior to launch. That film was indeed a box office failure, earning just $39 million domestic and $214m worldwide against a $100m budget.

As tempting as it is to blame piracy, and without entirely discounting the illegal availability of said film, the real culprit was franchise fatigue in that scenario and the choice to go with a PG-13 rating for what was supposed to be a 1980s action throwback. Heck, the film made $72 million in China where piracy is considered an even larger problem. If the movie was better or R-rated, or if the first…

Pirates 5 Is Being Held Ransom by Actual Pirates

Here’s a little bit of art imitating life: hackers have obtained Disney’s upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, and are demanding the studio pay a ransom in order to get it back, Deadline reports. The very 2017 touch is that the hackers would like that ransom to be paid in Bitcoin. So, what will the studio do now that one of its most lucrative franchises is in danger of being dropped well before its May 26 release date? If the past is any indication—nothing, really.

Disney boss Bob Iger revealed news of the hacking to employees during an ABC town hall meeting on Monday, though he kept mum on exactly which film was stolen. He also shared, per The Hollywood Reporter, that the hackers said they would release five minutes of the movie if they did not receive their ransom, followed by 20-minute footage drops. Disney will not pay the hackers, he confirmed, preferring instead to work with F.B.I. investigators to determine who is behind the theft. Representatives for Disney have not yet responded to a request for comment.

Hacking of a major film or TV property is nothing new in the digital age. Just last month, hackers who use the alias the Dark Overlord pilfered the entirety of Season 5 of Orange Is the New Black, demanding an unspecified ransom from Netflix. When…

How Someone Who Doesn’t Live a Fairy Tale Creates a Place Full of Fairy Tales

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them” – Walt Disney.

Whenever you think about great individuals who started from very humble beginnings and achieved extraordinary success, who comes to your mind? For me, Walt Disney springs to my mind first.

Walt Disney was a remarkable creative entrepreneur, animator, voice actor and film producer. He was the recipient of 22 Academy Awards and was nominated 59 times for producing iconic cartoons and animated films that we all love and enjoy even today, including Mickey Mouse.

A pioneer of the American animation industry, Disney founded the multi-billion-dollar Walt Disney Company that consists of various associated film production and distribution companies, cable channels, and television stations and networks. He even founded amusement parks for families to enjoy.

Disney’s journey to the top wasn’t as smooth sailing as many people imagine, though. Like many of us, he experienced many challenges along the way and he had to overcome big obstacles to succeed. Here are some facts about Walt Disney that most people don’t know but should.

1. He wasn’t born rich at all.

You might be tempted to think that Walt Disney achieved all he did because he came from a well-off family. He didn’t. For most of his childhood, Disney’s parents had to move the family across different states looking for work and economic security.

At the age of 19, Disney started drawing cartoons of the creatures from his childhood for sale. But, he got so little money to pay the rent, often being forced to live with friends and go without food.

That Disney rose from this humble background to become a household name is quite inspiring. It demonstrates that you don’t have to be born rich to make your own success.

2. He was told that he “lacked creativity”.

Hard to believe, but Walt Disney – the creative genius behind the Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Pluto and many other classic cartoon characters – was written off as lacking in creativity and artistry. When Disney pitched newspaper companies to get his cartoons published, they shut him down saying he “lacked artistic integrity,” But, though rejected, he kept going. He did not stop pitching his ideas.

People will criticize and even write you off for pursuing your dreams, but keep going. No one knows you better than you know yourself. No one knows your innermost dreams better than you. Listen to your heart and pursue your dreams relentlessly like Disney. It might not be easy, but it will be worth it in the end.

3. He failed many times (apparently more than 300 times).

Most people won’t even put 100 attempts toward their dream let alone fail 300 times. But Walt Disney failed over 300, including the heartbreaking period when his first studio that focused on animation called Laugh-O-Gram went bankrupt and shut down. Each time he failed, he learnt his lesson and tried again. When you believe in your dream as much as Disney did, even repeat failure cannot keep you from ultimate success.

Rather than focusing on the past, focus instead on the future achievements you want. “When you believe a thing, believe it all the way, implicitly and unquestionably,” Disney said.

4. He spent his Saturdays with his two daughters.

Although Walt Disney was an incredibly busy man, he always put family…

For Sale: The First Map of Disneyland

The original map of Disneyland, from 1953.
The original map of Disneyland, from 1953.

On September 23rd, 1953, Walt Disney called up his friend, the painter and art director Herb Ryman, and asked him to come down to his studio. “I’m going to do an amusement park,” Disney said when Ryman arrived. His brother, Roy Disney, was set to give a presentation to potential corporate investors that Monday, to show them what the park would look like.

“Ryman said that he was curious himself and asked to see the drawing,” writes Neal Gabler in his 2006 biography Walt Disney. And then came a twist worthy of the world’s leading storyteller: the drawing, as of yet, did not exist. “’You’re going to do it,’ Walt said.”

And so he did. Ryman drew for forty-two hours straight, subsisting on tuna sandwiches and milkshakes, and coached at every turn by a chain-smoking Walt Disney. When…

‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ blasts off with $145M opening

FILE - This image released by Disney-Marvel shows Zoe Saldana, from left, Karen Gillan, Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista and Rocket, voiced by Bradley Cooper, in a scene from,
FILE – This image released by Disney-Marvel shows Zoe Saldana, from left, Karen Gillan, Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista and Rocket, voiced by Bradley Cooper, in a scene from, “Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2.” Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has rocketed to a $17 million opening night, beating out early showings of the first film. Disney reported the sales estimate for Thursday night, May 4, 2017, preview screenings on Friday morning. The sequels Thursday night earnings are the biggest of the year so far. (Disney-Marvel via AP)

NEW YORK – “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” rocketed to an estimated $145 million debut in North America, kicking off Hollywood’s summer movie season with something the movie business has been craving: a sequel more successful than the original.

Director James Gunn’s second “Guardians” film opened 54 percent higher than the 2014 runaway hit, according to studio estimates Sunday.

That release, which introduced the intergalactic band of misfits played by Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper, debuted with $94 million in its first weekend.

Once a little-known, oddball property in Marvel’s vault, the “Guardians of the Galaxy” have grown into one of the comic-book factory’s biggest brands.

The Walt Disney Co. validated the rise of “Guardians,” too, by moving it from August (when the original opened) to the first weekend in May. Marvel has used the same weekend to effectively launch the summer season for the last decade.

The opening for “Guardians Vol. 2,” made for about $200 million, is the second largest of the year, following Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” ($174.8 million). But it also turns back the tide of underperforming sequels, a developing scourge to Hollywood. Last summer saw a litany of sequels that failed to live up to earlier installments.

“We spent a lot of time looking at sequels and the idea of sequel-itis,” said David Hollis, distribution chief for Disney. “Really, poor quality films have been the thing that has, more than anything, been rejected by consumers over time. The ambition here was to make something that was unbelievably fresh…

Green Beret, Hockey Star, Activist and Dad: Michael Mantenuto Was So Much More Than the Actor from Miracle

Many fans recognize Michael Mantenuto from his role in Disney’s Miracle, but those who knew him best will remember him more for his work offscreen as a father, soldier, hockey star and community activists.

“He was so much more than just a Miracle actor,” Teena Lepene, a friend of the actor, tells PEOPLE. After a short career in show business, Mantenuto joined the Army. He was a Special Forces sergeant stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington at the time of his death. He was 35.

The actor was found on Monday afternoon after sustaining a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the King County medical examiner’s office in Seattle, Washington, tells PEOPLE. His death has officially been ruled a suicide. He’s survived by his wife, Kati, and two children: daughter Ava and son Leo.

Lepene, who knew Mantenuto from his special forces training at Fort Bragg, says, “[He] was awesome and charismatic, people were naturally drawn to him.” While going through a rigorous special forces qualification course, Lepene says Mantenuto found time to start a youth hockey program on post with MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation), a network of support and leisure services for soldiers and their families.

“This course is intense and incredibly time consuming, but he found time for his passion and youth. People’s needs always came before his own, he was so giving,” she adds. At Fort Bragg, Lepene notes, the special forces corps trains around the clock for a minimum of 16 to 18 months.

In addition, Lepene says the actor “started a substance abuse program to save lives,” adding, “He is such an amazing person … He has touched a lot of people’s lives.”

Lt. Col. Robert Bockholt, Director of Public Affairs for U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, tells PEOPLE, “Our deepest condolences go out to Michael Mantenuto’s family, friends, and teammates,” adding, “The cause of death is still under investigation.”

Mantenuto enlisted in 2010, two years after making his final film, Surfer Dude. He attended special forces training in 2013, and went on to become a communications sergeant. He was assigned to 1st Special Forces Group, where he was stationed as a communications sergeant until his death.

He also attended SERE (survival, evasion, resistance, and escape) training — a notoriously tough course that prepares soldiers for when they are lost behind enemy lines, or are taken prisoner.

He deployed in Operation Inherent Resolve, the military’s operational name for the fight against ISIS, according to Bockholt. “He was a decorated service member,” Buckholt says. His awards and decorations include the following: Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, National Defense Service Member, Global War on Terror Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, and Good Conduct Medal with two knots.

In the wake of his death, social media was flooded with posts from friends and fellow soldiers sharing memories and well wishes for his family. “In life you find those that inspire you and mentor you. Those that take the time to impact lives of others,” wrote Samantha…

The Movie Date That Solidified J.R.R. Tolkien’s Dislike of Walt Disney

J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis were friends and carried on epic literary and religious discussions. They also went to see Disney’s first animated feature film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, together in 1938 or ’39. They hated it. Tolkien was particularly repulsed by how Disney portrayed dwarves.

Years later, in a 1964 letter to a Miss J.L. Curry at Stanford University, likely…

Disney Dates ‘Lion King’ and ‘Frozen 2,’ Pushes Fifth ‘Indiana Jones’ Film to 2020

Lion King Live-Action Remake

Disney dated a slew of films on Tuesday, including “Star Wars: Episode IX,” the live-action “Lion King” reboot, and “Frozen 2.” It also moved the openings for “Indiana Jones,” “Wreck-It Ralph 2,” “Wrinkle in Time,” and others.

The fifth film in the long-running “Indiana Jones” series will now gallop into theaters on July 10, 2020. It was previously slated to debut on July 19, 2019. The delay isn’t surprising. Director Steven Spielberg still has several projects on his dance card, including “Ready Player One,” a big-screen adaptation of a best-selling science-fiction novel, and a drama about the Pentagon Papers with Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep. The delay also gives the filmmakers more time to cook up a script that both Spielberg and Harrison Ford approve of, though it does mean that the action star will be in his late seventies when the film opens. By that point many globe-trotting adventurers would be forgiven for thinking about retirement.

Disney’s announcement will likely have ripple effects throughout the industry. The studio is the leader in terms of market share. Because it owns the rights to Lucasfilm, Marvel, and Pixar’s libraries, it has an enormous competitive advantage over other studios that don’t have the same reservoir of animated favorites and superheroes. That enables them to snap up the prime summer, spring, and holiday release dates for its films for years in advance, planting a flag that requires other studios to stake out other parts of the calendar where their films won’t be dwarfed by “Avengers” and “Star Wars” sequels and spinoffs.

There was a great deal of musical chairs involved in all the release dating. The company also…

Hold the Phone! Disney Just Opened a Dress Shop for Adults

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been a little bit jealous of the little girls who get to go to the Disney salon and come out looking like their favorite princess. When I first saw this headline, I thought, “Well, this is cool, but I’m not sure I’d be down for wandering around the park dressed like a little kid.”

Well, it turns out Disney and I are on the same wavelength.

They don’t want to dress adult ladies like little girls. They want to dress us in Disney princess-inspired dresses. And good heavens, have their designers hit the nail on the head.

I want to buy them all.

This dress inspired by Belle and Beauty and the Beast

Disney Is Fulfilling One of Nikola Tesla’s Science Dreams

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You may not have known this, but The Walt Disney Company does much more than animated films and amusement parks. Its Disney Research arm, with divisions all over the world, has the mission to deliver all kinds of scientific and technological innovations. From video processing and robotics to behavioral sciences and materials research, Disney has it covered. Now, its researchers have brought us what we’ve all been waiting for (even without knowing it)—ubiquitous wireless power transfer or, in other words, electricity with no wires.

So, what is it going to take to have your phone charged without a power outlet and a charger? In layman’s terms, an apartment especially built for that purpose with a huge copper pole propped in the middle. In non-layman’s terms, the…