Hollywood 2016: Disney is Industry’s Most Successful Studio

Captain America: Civil War, Finding Dory, and Zootopia have pushed the  Disney Studios to its biggest year ever at the global box office.

Disney has earned $5.85 billion in global ticket sales through Nov. 1, racing past its previous record of $5.84 billion, which Disney set in 2015.

That figure should climb: Disney still has several high-profile releases this year, among them “Doctor Strange,” which hits U.S. theaters on Friday, the family film “Moana,” and “Star Wars: Rogue One.”

Disney became the fastest studio to hit $2 billion domestically, $3 billion internationally, and $5 billion globally.

But the record for annual box office revenues still belongs to Universal, which racked up $6.89 billion in 2015 due to blockbusters “Furious 7” and “Jurassic World.”

Still, Disney is on track to surpass that mark, given the likely windfall that a new “Star Wars” adventure, Marvel movie, and animated offering will enjoy. Those films should close the $1 billion gap that exists between Disney’s current theatrical revenues and the record established by Universal.

Disney had a costly flop with “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” which earned $299.3 million on a budget of $170 million.  “The Finest Hours” and “The BFG” were stillborn at the multiplexes, losing millions of dollars.
“For the second year in a row, Disney Studios has reached a new high at the box office thanks to an absolutely stellar collection of releases from Disney, Disney Animation, Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm,” said Disney Chair Alan Horn in a statement. “This success is a testament to the refined talent and innovative work the entire studio team puts into making these world-class cinematic experiences.”

The results come from the success of expensive bets by Disney chief Bob Iger. Since taking over in 2005, Iger has spent $7.4 billion to buy Pixar, $4 billion for LucasFilm, and $4 billion for Marvel. Those acquisitions have given the studio access to the premiere animation creator, and the gallery of Marvel and “Star Wars” characters.