‘Disenchanted’ producer Barry Josephson on why ‘Enchanted’ sequel went straight to Disney+ – Crew Call Podcast – Deadline
The success of Hocus Pocus 2 as the most watched Disney+ movie of all time with a first weekend of 2.7 billion views, spurred many to question whether the sequel to the nearly 30-year-old film should have opened in theaters, especially during a dry period at the fall box office when cinemas were desperate for it.
The thing is, some of these green lights for direct-to-Disney+ movies happened during the pandemic, when theaters were closed and research showed that women would be the hardest to get back into theaters. Additionally, such long-awaited female-biased sequels seemed more ripe to become events on Disney+ as opposed to rolling the dice theatrically.
This Friday there is another sequel to a beloved Disney feature, Dissatisfied, which goes straight to Disney+ and skips cinemas. It is the long-awaited follow-up to Enchanted, which arguably launched Amy Adams as a marquee draw 15 years ago. The picture grossed over $340 million worldwide and received three Academy Award nominations for original songs.
On Crew Call today, franchise producer Barry Josephson tells us why it took so long for a part 2; one of the major forces at the studio is Walt Disney Motion Pictures production president Sean Bailey who always believed in the need for a sequel.
But still, with Adams and the original cast of James Marsden, Idina Menzel and Patrick Dempsey returning and songwriters Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz returning, why Disenchanted go straight to Disney+?
“This was a situational thing,” Josephson tells us, “This movie was developed as a box office movie.”
“My development towards getting the green light happened in the midst of Covid, and as our whole world was changing and where streaming became more important.”
“When I got the call ‘What do you think about this being a streaming film?’, for me I was excited,” explains the producer.
“I also understood that there are all these streaming services, and for Disney to be the premier family service for streaming, why not make things exclusively streaming? Two and two made four for me.”
“They said to me, ‘You’re going to make this movie like you made it as a box office feature.’ That excited me.”
“That didn’t mean we scaled back our idea,” he continues, “The service spends a significant amount of money for their subscribers.”
Josephson adds, “There’s an adjustment period that people have to get used to: There will be these things exclusively for streaming.”
Listen to our conversation with Josephson below: