Disney’s first quarter earnings for the 2018 fiscal year will be reported after the US market tonight.
There have been plenty of recent headlines around the company in recent weeks, from its plan to take over 20th Century Fox for $52.4m to its decision to launch two new streaming services.
However, analysts have chosen to focus on Disney’s ongoing subscriber losses at their sports network ESPN.
Still, it’s not all bad news for Disney.
The first quarter of fiscal 2018 has seen the release of three top-tier Disney movies, all of which turned a serious profit.
While their earnings from these films may not top 2016’s record-breaking first quarter, the new Star Wars, Pixar, and Marvel films will ensure there’s still plenty to talk about.
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Firstly, the films Disney released in the first quarter of fiscal 2018: Thor: Ragnarok, Coco, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. All three have been big earners for Disney according to box office results aggregator Box Office Mojo.
Thor: Ragnarok had a budget of $180m slightly more than the average Marvel Cinematic Universe film.
At the box office the film made a worldwide gross profit of $852.7m. While that’s nothing to be scoffed at, it is still Marvel’s weakest performance of 2017, coming in behind Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 which made $863.7m and Spider-Man: Homecoming which made $880.2m.
Coco‘s budget was somewhere between $175m and $200m. That’s a pretty standard budget for a Pixar film.
Thus far, the film has made $701.5m at the box office, however that could still increase since the film only launched outside of America recently. In addition, its probable Academy award win for Best Animated Feature should propel Coco a little further too.
As it stands, Coco has been an incredible success for Disney Pixar. Compared with other first-in-franchise Pixar releases, it’s profits have been significantly higher. Only Finding Nemo, Up, and Inside Out performed better.
Finally, there’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi which already stands a chance of being Disney’s biggest earner of fiscal 2018. From a $200m budget, the film has a worldwide gross of $1.321bn.
Admittedly that’s only 63.85 percent of what the previous entry in the Star Wars trilogy made, but it’s enough to place The Last Jedi as the 9th highest grossing film of all time.
Which films are yet to come?
Still, though Star Wars: The Last Jedi has been a strong outing for Disney, the studio has a huge amount of major releases lined up for 2018. There are even a few which stand a chance of toppling The Last Jedi off it’s podium, and one which, if Disney plays its cards could become the highest-grossing movie of all time.
Black Panther dir. Ryan Coogler
The latest edition of the Marvel Cinematic Universe seems likely to succeed based on the success of other entries in the franchise. It could get a boost from being the last film prior to the long-awaited Infinity War but either way, it will almost certainly turn a profit.
If profits from other recent Marvel films are replicated, Black Panther can probably be expected to make at least $850m-900m
A Wrinkle In Time dir. Ava DuVernay
A smaller budget than any of Marvel’s movies, but A Wrinkle In Time could prove a sleeper hit for Disney. The personal popularity of its director and stars including Oprah Winfrey and Mindy Kaling could be strong draws for audiences. Don’t expect a Beauty And The Beast-level runaway success, but A Wrinkle In Time is probably on track to be an earnings success.
Avengers: Infinity War dir. Anthony and Joe Russo
Budget: Rumoured to be $500m based on a $1bn budget split between Infinity War and its thus far untitled sequel.
If rumours about Avengers: Infinity War‘s budget are true, it will be the most expensive movie ever made. For any other franchise, that would be a gamble. For the Marvel Cinematic Universe it’s a safe move. Considering this film has been ten years in the making, there is no way Disney will allow this film to fail.
The original Avengers team-up movie is the fifth highest grossing film of all time, making $1.51bn. That was in 2012 with four film franchises feeding into it. As of 2018, there will be nine film franchises feeding into this crossover, a total of 18 previous films.
Safe to say, there’s going to be a lot of fans excited to see this tentpole feature.
Solo: A Star Wars Story dir. Ron Howard
A troubled production resulting in Ron Howard being brought in as director at the last minute gives cause for concern. On the other hand, it’s a Star Wars film based on one of the franchise’s most beloved characters. Safe to say, Solo will be a box office success.
How much of a box office success is anyone’s guess though. The last Star Wars spin-off, Rogue One made $1.056bn, so providing critical reception is good, Solo could make that and perhaps more.
Incredibles 2 dir. Brad Bird
Budget: ~$200m (estimate based on recent Pixar films)
As the sequel to one of Pixar’s highest-grossing and best loved films, The Incredibles 2 seems guaranteed to have brilliant earnings.
The last Pixar sequel, Finding Dory was it’s first billion dollar earner, and it seems likely The Incredibles 2 could replicate that success.
Ant-Man And The Wasp dir. Peyton Reed
This film will inevitably turn a profit, but considering it’s based on Marvel’s worst performing property since 2011, it’s by no means guaranteed to turn a big profit.
In addition, the film is sandwiched between two major Avengers films which will force its writers to jump through various story-telling hoops it may not be critically well-received either. Expect a moderate success, not a massive one.
Christopher Robin dir. Marc Forster
A live-action sequel to a classic Disney cartoon, like Ant-Man And The Wasp, Christopher Robin seems destined for moderate, but by no means guaranteed success. That’s especially considering it could easily be confused with the 2017 biographical film about the AA Milne, Goodbye Christopher Robin.
However, Disney does have a pedigree with releasing these kinds of films. It’s probably best not to count this one out, but again, it almost certainly won’t reach the successful heights of Beauty And The Beast.