Why everyone loves a villain (and the idea of a villain park)
In the years that followed, Disney Villains became an even greater part of the corporation's business, even if they failed to materialize concretely in the parks. Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie as the self-described Mistress of Evil from Sleeping Beauty, made nearly $800 million in 2014. (Jolie recently said that a sequel was moving forward.) Additionally, plans are underway for a Cruella de Vil origin film to star Oscar-winner Emma Stone. On the Disney Channel, Descendants, a live-action made-for-TV movie about the children of famous Disney villains, was a ratings smash. The 2015 film got a sequel this past summer; more than 21 million people watched.
The villains continue to claim stakes in the parks, too, but in a different way than most had hoped. In 2013 a 13-hour Disney Villains event, entitled Villains Unleashed, was a sensation at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Guests waited for hours to get their one-on-one time with some of Disney's most fearsome foes. The following year a hard-ticket event (also called Villains Unleashed) returned to Disney's Hollywood Studios with even more evildoers, including obscure picks like Dr. Hämsterviel from Lilo & Stitch, Shan Yu from Mulan, Hector Barbossa from Pirates of the Caribbean, Bowler Hat Guy from Meet the Robinsons, and Constantine, Kermit the Frog's evil doppelgänger from Muppets Most Wanted.