Walt Disney Studios has rocketed past $5 billion for the first time in its history.
To reach those lofty heights, the Hollywood player was powered by three of its top-shelf brands — Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm, which released its first film under the Disney banner last weekend with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” That space opera sequel shattered records, setting new high-water marks for a domestic debut with $248 million and a global launch with $529 million. Its debut shot past the records set by “Jurassic World” ($208.8 million domestic, $524.9 million worldwide).
Disney’s previous full-year record was $4.73 billion, which it set in 2013. Warner Bros. and Fox have also crossed the $5 billion barrier in other years, and Universal is the market share leader in 2015 have hit $6.8 billion globally thanks to such blockbusters as “Jurassic World” and “Furious 7.”
In addition to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” other Disney hits this year include Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” ($459 million domestic; $1.4 billion global), Pixar’s “Inside Out” ($356.4 million domestic; $855.4 million global), “Cinderella” ($201.1 million domestic; $542.5 million global), and Marvel’s “Ant-Man” ($180.1 million domestic; $519.1 million global).
Not everything paid off for the studio. “The Good Dinosaur” marks a rare misstep for Pixar, grossing $189.8 million on a $200 million budget.