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2018's 'Incredibles' sequel will face a different superhero movie world

Since the first 'Incredibles' film came out in 2004, Marvel Studios and a proliferation of TV superhero shows have transformed the genre.

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The first 'Incredibles' movie was released in 2004.

Walt Disney Pictures/Pixar Animation/AP

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The Parr family will return to the big screen a bit earlier than animation fans may have anticipated, with a sequel to the 2004 Pixar movie “The Incredibles” set to debut in 2018 rather than 2019. The new movie will be debuting in a far different superhero movie marketplace than the first.

The “Incredibles” sequel was first announced for 2019 by studio Pixar, which has since decided to release a fourth “Toy Story” film in 2019 and move the “Incredibles” sequel up a year. 

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The 2004 film, which featured the voice work of Craig. T Nelson, Holly Hunter, and Samuel L. Jackson, centered on a superhero family forced to hide their powers after public opinion turns against superheroes. 

The movie was critically acclaimed when it was released and became the fifth-highest-grossing film of the year.

2004 was a very different place when it came to superheroes. The pop culture explosion in which we are currently living had not yet occurred; the movie “Batman Begins,” for example, which stars Christian Bale and kicked off director Christopher Nolan’s critically acclaimed “Dark Knight” trilogy, came out the next year. The first Marvel Studios movie, “Iron Man,” wouldn’t arrive for another four years. 

Superheroes were a high-grossing genre in Hollywood, of course; the “X-Men” and “Spider-Man” series, for example, were in full swing, with the “X-Men” film “X2” having just come out in 2003 and the successful “Spider-Man 2” coming out the same year as “The Incredibles.” 

But an “Incredibles” sequel will encounter a crowded superhero marketplace, where the average moviegoer likely knows a lot about superheroes and has many entertainment options about them to choose from, whether it is the multiple TV shows – Netflix has aired three so far and is planning another one and a miniseries, while the CW is currently airing four, to say nothing of shows like Fox’s “Gotham” or ABC’s “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” – or various big-budget movies.

According to studio release schedules, 2018 will also see Marvel’s “Black Panther,” “Avengers: Infinity War,” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” as well as Warner Bros.’ “The Flash” and “Aquaman.”