Disney has started to defy the basic rules of economics!
The Walt Disney Company shouldn't have done well over the weekend - their much hyped, ultra expensive (+$200 million) The Lone Ranger starring fan favorite opened to a disappointing $48 million 5 day box office and was greeted with a lukewarm response from both audience and critics. The studio now stands to lose an anticipated $150-190 million on the flick. Let's not forget that this isn't the first Disney film in recent memory that was an expensive flop: John Carter lost the studio $200 million last summer. Yet, according to Variety, the studio's stock has actually gone up by 1.3%.
Why, pray tell? I think we both know (at least part of) the answer: Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens.
According to an article at Variety, Credit Suisse Group analyst Michael Senno has stated that Disney will make 'around $733 million in profits' from Star Wars: Episode VII. Mathaholics will know that $733 million means a staggering $1.2 billion in global ticket sales.
Since not a minute of film has been recorded yet, you might assume Senno pulled the figure out of thin air. Not so. The final Star Wars prequel, Revenge of the Sith made a solid $850 million internationally, while Disney's last big hit, The Avengers, made bank, and how, with $1.5 billion. So, looking at those figures, $1.2 billion might be erring on the low side. All the same, it's pretty bombastic that months before is scheduled to start shooting, Senno believes the film will generate the same box office profits as Iron Man 3, which is the fifth highest grossing film of all time (not adjusted for inflation).
Disney's losses were also softened by the vast box office successes of Iron Man 3 and Monsters University. Disney is still feeling the good vibes from their late spring hit Iron Man 3, which generated an enormous $1.2 billion worldwide, while Monsters University has made a very respectable $401 million so far.