The Walt Disney Company (DIS - Free Report) seems to be gaining ground with its latest release Star Wars: The Last Jedi raking in $450 million in the opening weekend. This is the second flick under the Lucasfilm’s latest Star Wars trilogy, the first one being Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In fact, this eighth episode of Star Wars has set expectations soaring for the final part of the trilogy — Star Wars: Episode IX in the Star Wars saga — scheduled for release in December 2019.
The latest movie has got off to a great start in the domestic market, with the film earning $220 million on its opening weekend in the United States and Canada. Also, this is the second largest opening weekend after the Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015.
In fact, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is flying high at the box office with its overseas collection of $230 million in the opening weekend, almost at par with the analysts’ expectations. This new movie is the fifth largest debut ever, excluding the Chinese market — the world’s second largest movie market. Here, the movie is to release on Jan 5.
Moreover, this media behemoth has a solid track record of box-office hits for the last couple of years. In 2015, the company had released Avengers: Age of Ultron, Marvel's Ant-Man, Inside Out, Cinderella and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Also, 2016 has been a magnificent year for the company’s movie business backed by the release of Captain America: Civil War, Finding Dory and Zootopia, which surpassed $1 billion at the box office. Furthermore, Jungle Book was very successful with a worldwide collection of $966 million.
However, the company has disappointed its viewers in 2017 as the year has been dull for the movie industry. Nevertheless, we believe Star Wars: The Last Jedi’s success to favor the company’s box office collections and profitability in the coming days.
In addition, the recent deal between Disney and Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. (FOXA - Free Report) is likely to enhance the company’s Studio Entertainment segment and overall performance. Per the deal, Disney will acquire majority of Twenty-First Century’s assets worth $52.4 billion that include its Film and Television studios along with cable and international TV businesses. The total transaction amount is nearly $66.1 billion that comprises $13.7 billion of Twenty-First Century Fox’s net debt.
In the past three months, Disney’s shares have gained 13%, outperforming the industry's growth of 3.1%. This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company shares space with Time Warner Inc. (TWX - Free Report) and Viacom, Inc. (VIAB - Free Report) . You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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