Disney today is a gigantic media company pumping out various movies and attracting millions of tourists to their Orlando and Anaheim theme parks, while owning two of its largest media properties in Star Wars and Marvel. According to an analysis of Google search data, 2019 has been proving a big year for the pair of Disney properties so far, especially around the spring.
March and April were huge months, as International Women’s Day on March 8 saw the release of Marvel’s first female lead in the MCU: Captain Marvel, starring Brie Larson as the titular character Carol Danvers and Samuel Jackson returning as a younger Nick Fury.
Early and mid April for Star Wars came in with Star Wars Celebration Chicago. Fans celebrated a few 20th anniversaries including that of Lego Star Wars and Episode I: The Phantom Menace. The teaser for the upcoming Rise of Skywalker movie set for Holiday 2019, The Mandalorian and Season 7 of The Clone Wars series respectively, and the upcoming Jedi Fallen Order video game were all promoted at Celebration.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe took over in late April and early May with the highly anticipated release of Avengers Endgame, helping to wrap up 11 years of Marvel movies that started with 2008’s Iron Man. As the year continued to the present, Marvel wrapped up the Infinity Saga with Spider-Man Far From Home in July, though not quite as big as Endgame in comparison, especially in Google searches.
Continuing with the House of Mouse, 2019 has been further defined by the year’s two most anticipated live action remakes. This Google Trends analysis goes back further to October and November 2018. At this same time last year, 2019 Aladdin’s teaser trailer dropped, taking a quick day and night look at the desert outside the city of Agrabah and a peak inside the Cave of Wonders.
The King took its turn in November as the live action Lion King was teased, narration overlooking Pride Rock in Africa provided by King Mufasa himself: James Earl Jones. One look at Google searches shows a much larger spike by far. It’s clear at this point that The Lion King was the more anticipated Disney movie.
Matters for Aladdin didn’t help when Will Smith’s interpretation of Robin William’s Genie was revealed during early February. Though to be fair, Disney fans also questioned 2019 Lion King’s live action movie status, as the film was considered more CGI than live action.
Yet. the script was flipped as Aladdin and The Lion Kings’ respective releases drew near. Aladdin recovered from the early news woes after arriving to theaters in late May. Overall reception was better than pre release in comparison.
The opposite also proved true for The Lion King. Despite another large spike around release in July, fan and critic reactions were disappointing. The King fell from grace this year, especially compared to the 1994 classic while Aladdin rebounded in the desert, regardless of how it compares to its respective 1992 counterpart.