Disney has broken its own record of worldwide film receipts by an individual studio in a single year, underlining its dominant position in the global film industry. According to Variety, Disney has amassed $7.67bn to date in 2019, passing the previous best mark of $7.61bn it managed in 2016.
Disney’s current film The Lion King has been instrumental in pushing it over the line: on its second week of global release it has reached $962.7m in worldwide takings. Its figures have also been boosted earlier this year by the release of Avengers: Endgame (which recently overtook Avatar to become the highest earning film of all time), Captain Marvel ($1.1bn), Toy Story 4 ($917.9m) and Aladdin ($1.01bn). Only Dumbo ($352.9m) can be considered a disappointment.
Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore, told CNN: “Disney’s global domination is a reflection of what happens when you have some of the biggest brands in film. Not to mention, the marketing muscle to get that content on the minds of virtually every potential moviegoer around the world on a consistent basis.”
Disney’s dominant market position is the result of a huge acquisition programme, in which they successively purchased Pixar Animation (makers of Toy Story) for $7.4bn in 2006, Marvel Studios for $4bn in 2009, and Lucasfilm (producers of the Star Wars franchise for $4bn in 2012). This year they concluded the purchase of fellow Hollywood studio Fox in a $71bn deal.
Given that the year is only seven months in, Disney is expected to maintain and extend its ascendancy with its major releases set for the rest of the year, which include Maleficent 2, Frozen 2 and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.