Avatar ticket sales breathe life into Disney’s blockbuster machine

Avatar: The Road of Water has grossed more than $1.7 billion at the global box office, giving Disney momentum as some Wall Street analysts are warning that the studio’s blockbuster engine of popularity has begun to run out.

The charm of the movie on the weekend makes water path seventh highest grossing film of all time, before Jurassic world. Original Avatarreleased in 2009, remains the top-grossing film in cinematic history with a total of $2.9 billion.

Paul Dergarabedian, a senior analyst at Comscore, said the film seems to have a long way to go and could gross $2 billion. “The fact that Avatar remains at the top of the box office in its fourth week is really impressive,” he said. “This thing doesn’t slow down at all.”

The weekend’s performance means the expensive sci-fi movie is about to turn a profit for Disney, analysts say. Directed by James Cameron potentially getting the green light for the planned release of three more installments of the series.

The Avatar The franchise came to Disney through its 2019 acquisition of 20th Century Fox from Rupert Murdoch for $71 billion — a deal whose value for Disney was recently questioned by some analysts. It’s the most important deal for Disney executives Bob Igerwho returned to the company in late November after his successor, Bob Chapek, was ousted.

Now, as Iger outlines a new strategy for Disney, some on Wall Street say the top priority needs to be reviving their studios, particularly Pixar, Disney Animation and Lucasfilm.

Rich Greenfield, an analyst at LightShed Partners, said the drive to create new content for the Disney Plus streaming service has put a serious strain on their studios. Consistently hit producers like Lucasfilms’ Star Wars and Marvel — home to box office heroes like Spiderman and Detachment of revenge – “getting more and more tired from overuse,” he says.

“Disney has never cared about quantity — it has always cared about quality at the highest level — but the streaming business requires massive amounts of content to drive [subscriptions] and minimize chaos,” he said last week. “By spreading content too quickly. . . it reduces the power of content to consumers. It feels less special.

Critics point to Pixar’s disappointing performance last year Light year – the latest part in success Toy Story franchise — and Disney Animation’s strange world as an example of last year’s big misses.

Disney’s animation business fell into the doldrums when Iger first became chief executive officer in 2005. He quickly acquired Pixar from Apple, a deal that is said to have invigorated for corporate animation. Later, Iger oversaw the successful acquisitions of Marvel and Lucasfilm. But there are few clear acquisition goals that can transform businesses today.

Greenfield adds that “much of the content that has been overwhelming in the past few years was given the green light at the end of Iger’s first term as CEO.”

Despite such concerns, Disney still has 4 in the top 10 biggest movies of 2022, including water path and three Marvel movies: Doctor Strange in the Mad Multiverse, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and Thor: Love and Thunder. Disney movies accounted for three of the 10 best movies in the US last week, according to Comscore.

Disney is also introducing its line of films for this year, the company’s 100th anniversary. Among them is Marvel’s ant-man and wasps, a remake of Little Mermaid, a fifth part of Indiana Jones franchise and To wish.

A long-term schedule is also expected with Avatar sequels planned for 2024, 2026 and 2028. The third Avatar movie has already been filmed and a fourth installment is in the works.

With a reported budget of $350 million, the bar faces water path The big profits come from marketing and other expenses — not to mention the huge box office revenue that goes to the cinemas.

“The most important thing for [Disney] It’s a movie that does very well outside of the US,” said Chad Beynon, an analyst at Macquarie. “In the US it’s going to make a little over $500 million, but outside it could make $1.5 billion.”

Cameron told interviewer Chris Wallace last week that “it looks like with the momentum of the film right now, we’ll easily break even in the next few days.”

He added: “It doesn’t seem like I can get away with this — I’ll have to make other sequels.”


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