On the back of “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Infinity War,” Walt Disney Co.’s (NYSE: DIS) studio business has 35% of U.S. box office receipts through May 6. Total domestic box office sales for that period were over $4.3 billion.
The lead is particularly impressive given that the next studio has only one-third of that total for the period. Time Warner has a market share of 11.6%, followed by 20th Century Fox at 9.9% and Sony/Columbia at 9.8%.
Based on the past 18 years, the studio box office winner for the year ends up with a share of 15% to 25%. Disney can expect several other blockbusters this year, which could hold its lead at more than 30%. These include sequels to two popular movies or franchises. One is “Incredibles 2” and the other “Mary Poppins Returns.”
The studio section of Disney already has been a major boost to earnings. In its most recent quarter, studio revenues rose 21% to $2.5 billion, compared to the same quarter a year ago. Operating income for the unit rose 29% to $847 million.
Commenting on the results, CEO Bob Iger said:
Our ability to create extraordinary content like Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War and leverage it across all business units, the unique value proposition we’re creating for consumers with our DTC platforms, and our recent reorganization strengthen our confidence that we are very well positioned for future growth.
Disney’s results throughout the year should be a repeat to this. It has a very good chance of setting a record no other studio has in recent history. It can have so many blockbuster films in a year that its competition wrestles for much smaller pieces of the pie.