Disney Holds Unprecedented Third of US Movie Market

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Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) holds an unprecedented 35% of the market share of studios through August 5. Its success was described in Disney’s recent earnings. If Disney can hold its position, the studio will break records that have existed for years.

Disney’s primarily studio is Buena Vista, and the movies it has produced have ticket sales of $2.63 billion this year. Number two Universal has had ticket sales of $1.05 billion for a 14% share. Warner Bros.’s share is 10%, with ticket sales of $738 million.

Three films have accounted for most of Disney’s success. “Black Panther” is one of the most successful movies of all time with domestic box office sales of $700 million. “Avengers: Infinity War,” part of the blockbuster Avengers series, has posted ticket sales of $678 million. An animated movie, “Incredibles 2,” is next on the Disney list at $583 million. Incidentally, these are the three most successful movies of 2018, regardless of the studios that released them.

In a typical year, going back to 2000, the lead studio for the year has a market share of 15% to 20%. Disney may double that in 2018, depending on the success of its major films over the next five months. Two movies are likely to help it hold the wide lead. “Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2” will be released on November 25. The original “Wreck-It Ralph” was released in 2012. It had domestic box office of $189 million and won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. “Mary Poppins Returns” is a sequel to the “Mary Poppins” movie released in 1964. It may not help Disney’s numbers much for this year because it will not be released until Christmas Day.

All in all, even if Disney does not produce a string of blockbusters as it did in the first seven months of the year, it is likely to post a box office market share unmatched in nearly two decades.