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Disney Passes $1 Billion in U.S. Grosses in Record Time

Inside Out,” “Cinderella” and “Avengers: Age of Ultron” have powered Walt Disney Studios past the $1 billion mark in record time.

The studio behind Marvel, Pixar and Lucasfilm crossed that threshold in 174 days, beating its previous best of 188 days. This marks the 19th time that Disney has hit that figure Stateside. There’s still plenty of promising fare on the horizon, including “Ant-Man,” a superhero film with Paul Rudd that opens next month, and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which will send fanboys and fangirls into ecstasy when it touches down in December.

Not everything Disney touches turns to gold, though. The studio is facing a reported writedown of $140 million on “Tomorrowland,” a costly George Clooney bomb.

In terms of hits, “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is the company’s biggest, racking up $450 million domestically, while “Inside Out” is off to a promising start after scoring the second best opening in Pixar history last weekend when it bowed to $90.4 million.

Disney primarily focused on making broadly appealing films for a global audience, but it has deviated slightly from that strategy with mixed results. Inspirational sports drama “McFarland, USA” cost a modest $17 million to produce and generated $44 million in the U.S., while “Strange Magic,” an animated throw-in from its 2012 deal to buy Lucasfilm, bombed with $12 million in receipts.

In the coming weeks, Disney expects to set new international and global gross records. As it currently stands, Disney is No. 2 in domestic market share, behind Universal, which is riding high on hits like “Jurassic World” and “Furious 7.”

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