The Hollywood Reporter examines the “stealth success” of the Tinker Bell direct-to-video animated features for Disney, the fifth of which (The Pirate Fairy) was released last Tuesday, April 1, 2014. The article examines the franchise’s troubled start, where a movie already several years in production was scrapped with the arrival of John Lasseter and Ed Catmull during Disney’s acquisition of Pixar. The first four films in the series have cost $30-35 million each, but have grossed $225 million in DVD sales so far, and the movies are popular enough to get theatrical runs in Europe and Latin America to gross $335 million so far overseas. SNL Kagan analyst Wade Holden notes that the Tinker Bell series was one of the first to tap the market of pre-tween girls, behind the success of Tangled, Brave, and Frozen. The article also reports that a sixth film, Legend of the NeverBeast, is due out next year, but a seventh film was scrapped last fall.
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