Ever since Walt Disney Studios acquired Pixar back in 2006, it was obvious how rapidly the Mouse House wanted to expand. A decade later, they’re now proud owners of Lucasfilm (which includes the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises), as well as a little superhero studio known as Marvel Studios. Now a dominant force in the global movie box office, it’s no surprise to see Disney rake in hundreds of millions of dollars in relatively short spells from hit after hit (after hit).
It won’t come as a shock to know that, almost halfway into the year, Disney are making a heck of a lot of money at the box office, with huge hits following on from Star Wars: The Force Awakens (which made an incredible $936 million domestically), such as Zootopia and Captain America: Civil War. And now, just over four months into 2016, Disney has exceeded $1 billion for domestic ticket sales in a mere 128 days – setting a new record and leaving every other studio in its wake.
It was only last year that Universal smashed the record for tipping the billion mark in 165 days with a trio of mega-hits: Jurassic World ($652m), Furious 7 ($353m), and Minions ($336m). However, Box Office Mojo is reporting that Disney has trounced that record with the same result 37 days faster. As Civil War continues to make huge amounts of money in its opening week (currently on $179m), Disney have surprise hit Zootpia ($328m and counting) and Jon Favreau’s live-action The Jungle Book ($287.6m and counting), and of course $284m+ from The Force Awakens to thank.
While Disney have had massive successes in the past few years – 2013’s Frozen broken a number of records to affirm itself as the biggest animated movie of all time with domestic earnings of $400m; Marvel’s The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron also scooped huge $623m and $459m returns in 2012 and 2015, respectively – the dominating company appear to be going from strength to strength.
Looking to the future, it seems Disney studio heads are going to be rubbing their hands together for a while now. There’s the imminent arrival of Alice Through the Looking Glass – the sequel to Tim Burton’s massively successful Alice in Wonderland, followed by Pixar’s Finding Dory; Steven Spielberg’s The BFG; a live-action remake of Pete’s Dragon; Marvel’s Benedict Cumberbatch-starring Doctor Strange; Disney Animation’s Moana; and the massively anticipated Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on its way before the end of the year.
It’s getting somewhat predictable now that the studio is continuing to produce hit after hit, whether it’s as part of their Lucasfilm, Pixar, or Marvel collaborations or through their own studios making wonderfully accessible movies like Zootopia. One thing is for sure: the huge fees Disney paid ($7.4b for Pixar; $4.05b for Lucasfilm; $4b for Marvel) to buy out the so-called competition are certainly paying off.
Captain America: Civil War is in theaters now. Doctor Strange opens November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2– May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; Avengers: Infinity War Part 2– May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is available on DVD & Blu-ray now, with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opening in U.S. theaters on December 16, 2016, followed by Star Wars: Episode VIII on December 15, 2017, the Han Solo Star WarsAnthology film on May 25, 2018, Star Wars: Episode IX in 2019, and the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.
Source: Box Office Mojo