Despite 2017 being a dull year for the movie industry, The Walt Disney Company (DIS - Free Report) has once again emerged as the top grosser in domestic box office collections.
Per comScore, Hollywood industry ended 2017 on a mixed note, with domestic box office collections touching $11 billion mark only for the third time in the history but was down 2.3% year over year. In 2015, the domestic sales were pegged at $11.14 billion.
Further, movie attendance in North America has declined to its lowest level in more than twenty years in 2017. However, National Association of Theater Owners is yet to provide any confirmed data on this front.
Per media reports, Disney garnered $2.4 billion from the ticket sales in North America, which is more than 21% of the total domestic market share. Blockbuster performance of Disney’s latest flick Star Wars: The Last Jedi, along with runaway hits like Beauty and the Beast and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 were the primary reasons for the studio’s success in 2017. So far, Star Wars: The Last Jedi has not only garnered $517.1 million domestically but also surpassed the Beauty and the Beast’s domestic collection of $504 million to become the highest grossing movie of 2017.
Meanwhile, Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros. and Comcast Corporation’s (CMCSA - Free Report) Universal box office collections were pegged at around $2 billion and $1.5 billion, respectively.
Disney’s Box Office Success to Continue Beyond 2017
Analysts believe that the deal with Rian Johnson, the director of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, to produce a brand new Star Wars trilogy will continue to drive the studio’s performance. Further, we believe that the coming two years will be most productive for Disney.
This year, the company is expected to release Black Panther, A Wrinkle in Time, Avengers: Infinity War, The Incredibles 2 and Ant-Man and the Wasp.
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, the Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company’s shares have gained 12.1%, outperforming the industry's growth of 3.4%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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