News

'The Muppets' Return Christmas 2011

by Ray Subers
 

 
June 8, 2010

Early this afternoon Walt Disney Pictures announced that Jim Henson's Muppets will be back on the big screen on Christmas Day 2011 in the tentatively titled The Muppets.

Following his puppet-related experiences on Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Jason Segel pitched the idea of resurrecting the Muppets to Disney. Since then, Segel and Nick Stoller, director of Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him to the Greek, have been working on the script. No plot information is currently available, and Disney did not announce whether or not the movie would be in 3-D.

While The Muppets have been a cultural icon for decades, their box office track record is mixed. Their first big screen outing, The Muppet Movie, made over $65 million in June 1979, or the equivalent of over $205 million adjusted for ticket price inflation. To this day, The Muppet Movie remains the highest-grossing puppet movie of all-time, indicating that the genre as a whole has been relatively unpopular.

The Great Muppet Caper in 1981 ($31.2 million, around $90 million adjusted) and The Muppets Take Manhattan in 1984 ($25.5 million, $60.4 million adjusted) were unable to duplicate the original's success, resulting in an eight year hiatus for the puppets. They returned in 1992 with The Muppet Christmas Carol, followed by Muppet Treasure Island in 1996, but the franchise was shut down after 1999's Muppets from Space grossed a meager $16.6 million. Overall, The Muppets movies have generated just over $200 million, or nearly $500 million adjusted.

While The Muppets is the only movie currently scheduled for Christmas Day (which falls on a Sunday in 2011), The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn and We Bought a Zoo are slated to open two days earlier.

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