Disney has amassed over a billion dollars in earning figures at the US box office in record time for the studio this year, and it has the success of the new Pixar animation Inside Out to thanks, which managed a super cool $91 million in its debut weekend.
The studio has crossed the billion count in record time of 174 days, with hits Avengers: Age of Ultron ($450 million) and Cinderella ($199 million) also contributing heavily. Disney’s previous record was 188 days.
The studio still has Star Wars: The Force Awakens waiting to take flight – the trade pundits’ favourite to be the year’s highest-grossing movie – to come in 2015, but has also seen some of its features bomb at the box-office. The George Lucas-produced Strange Magic, an animated fairy tale set to a pop-music score, was part of the for $4.05 billion package that brought Star Wars rights-holder Lucasfilm to the studio in October 2012. It made just $12 million in net returns. Futuristic fantasy Tomorrowland, starring George Clooney as an inventor who travels with a teenage girl to a strange utopia, is also expected to lose close to $140 million.
Disney’s second Marvel film of the year – Ant-Man – has created some buzz but is not expected to create much ripples at the box-office, though it may just turn out to be this year’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, even though early trailers have also failed to find favour with fans.
Disney still continues to play catch up with rival Universal Studios, which surpassed the $1 billion figure in a world-record time of just 165 days this month. It has taken at least $1.245 billion in the year to date, thanks to the success of Jurassic World and Fast and Furious 7. Warner Bros, whose biggest US hit so far has been Mad Max: Fury Road, is also closing in on the $1 billion mark.
Total US box-office figures for 2015 are already at $5.276 billion, with one weekend to go before the halfway mark for the year, suggesting a record annual figure of $11 billion could be breached.