Disney Sinks Planned 3-D “Little Mermaid” Release

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The Little Mermaid

Due to lackluster box-office results for 3-D releases of Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo and Beauty and the Beast, Walt Disney Studios announced Monday that it’s scrubbing plans for a 3-D version of The Little Mermaid in September.

The Lion King 3-D had been a sleeper hit, grossing almost $100 million in the United States and Canada. In late 2011, Disney announced the 1989 undersea hit The Little Mermaid as its fourth and last planned 3-D re-release.

However, the bloom was off the rose for other follow-ups. Beauty and the Beast collected $47.6 million last January and Finding Nemo brought $40.7 million in September, while Monsters, Inc. nabbed just $30.5 million since its release December 19.

Disney had already started work on converting The Little Mermaid to 3-D in November, the studio’s animation chief creative officer, John Lasseter, said in an interview then.

Meanwhile, Disney announced Monday that the partly animated The Muppets 2 will be released on March 21, 2014, with Ricky Gervais and Ty Burrell starring opposite Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy

James Bobin, director of the partly animated The Muppets (2011), returns as the director from a script that he co-wrote with Nick Stoller. The earlier movie was co-written by Stoller and its star, Jason Segel.

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