'Pete's Dragon' Could Start An Unlikely Franchise

As if Disney wasn't already enough of a hitmaker with Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and their own animated offerings, the studio has recently found yet another formula for success. By remaking their classic animated films as big budget live action movies, Disney has hit a sweet spot between childhood nostalgia and modern blockbusters. The Jungle Book and Maleficent have each proven that the formula works; so much so that both films have sequels in the works. The next entry to test the formula is Pete's Dragon — a remake of the obscure 1977 live action/animation hybrid. But will Pete's Dragon get a sequel as well?

It certainly could, and it likely depends on how well the film performs. Neither The Jungle Book nor Maleficent were conceived as franchises originally, but after their ridiculous box office performances ($941 million and $758 million worldwide, respectively), second entries were green-lit. Pete's Dragon likely faces a similar scenario. Although it's probably not meant to start a franchise, if the film makes a lot of money, then a sequel is a strong possibility. If it flops, then fans can likely forget about another entry. So what are the odds that the movie does well at the box office?

It's hard to say. The Jungle Book made a ton of money earlier this year, but the next big budget, live action family films from Disney — The BFG and Alice Through the Looking Glass — both underperformed. However, each of the latter movies entered theaters against stiff competition. Alice faced off against X-Men: Apocalypse and opened the week star Johnny Depp's domestic abuse scandal came to light, and The BFG opened opposite The Legend of Tarzan and floundered in the considerable wake of Finding Dory's third weekend. Pete's Dragon, on the other hand, will largely have family audiences to itself. The biggest hit in theaters right now is Suicide Squad, which isn't really after the same crowds, while the biggest family hit currently playing, The Secret Life of Pets, is nearing the end of its run. This could add up to a decent domestic take for Pete's Dragon, as well as a good foreign box office showing, which is traditional for big Disney offerings.

Also in favor of the movie performing well is the critical response. So far, Pete's Dragon is doing very well in the reviews department, with an 85 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Granted, there are only 27 reviews counted as of this writing, but that's a stellar score. It's below The Jungle Book's 94 percent, but well above The BFG's 74 percent, Maleficent's 50 percent, and Alice Through the Looking Glass's 30 percent. So if the positive reviews continue, they could help convince more people to see the film.

It's not yet known if Pete's Dragon will get a sequel, but it's being well-received by critics, which could translate into big box office numbers. If that happens, then a part two might be in the works. Then the only question remaining will be what to call the new movie. The Dragon Formally Known as Pete's? Pete's Other Dragon? How to Train Your Dragon if Your Name Is Pete? The possibilities are endless.

Images: Walt Disney Pictures; Giphy