The Walt Disney Company was founded 93 years ago by brothers Walt Disney and Roy O. Disney, originally as a cartoon studio. Over the years that have followed, its domination of the entertainment industry has only increased, with astute acquisitions of huge franchises such as Star Wars and Marvel Entertainment adding to the cause.
Those investments have translated to cold hard cash, with the studio branch of the company grossing a record-breaking $3.566 billion this year alone, beating the previous record of $3.565 of 2015 — also set by Disney.
- Animal Charm: Disney's Zootopia Becomes The Second Biggest Original Movie Of All Time
- Finding Dory Just Blasted Civil War Out Of The Water As Top-Grossing Movie Of 2016
- Here's Every Upcoming Live-Action Disney Movie Scheduled For Release, Including Mulan, Aladdin And The Lion King
There's no doubt the juggernaut of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has injected fruitful funds into the company coffers, with this year's Captain America: Civil War oiling the cogs in the money-making machine with an international gross of $1.153 billion.
Breaking Into The Disney Hall Of Fame
Animation, too, helps to boost those figures. Civil War is one of three Disney films this year to gross over the $1 billion mark. The other two are animated features; Zootopia, which grossed $1.023 billion internationally, and Finding Dory, which broke through the billion dollar barrier with worldwide takings of $1.011 billion.
Elsewhere in the studio, the signs are just as promising. This year's surprise hit remake, The Jungle Book, played its part in the record-breaking year with international takings of $966.3 million.
Such was the magnitude of Disney's success in 2016, three of the films have broken into the Hall of Fame for domestic box offices; Finding Dory is now the third best with $485 million, Civil War eighth with $408 million, and Zootopia 12th with $341 million.
Unsurprisingly, the cream of the Disney crop is last year's Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which broke a multitude of records and became Disney's best ever performing film, with international box office takings of $2.068 billion and domestic $936.7 million. The Avengers (2012) is a close second with $623.4 million domestically.
More Records Set To Be Broken
With two months of the year to go, Disney will again break their own record — possibly by a significant margin — due to upcoming blockbusters Doctor Strange, Rogue One: A Star Wars story and Moana. The first two are solid bets to earn substantial takings, while Disney will be hoping Moana can continue its lucrative year of animated hits.
While the figures are indeed impressive, Disney's success over the last few years does highlight the monopolisation of the film industry. Having acquired Marvel, Star Wars and Pixar Animations Studios, the results aren't surprising. Money makes money, but there's still hope that good movies will find their audience regardless of the amount pumped into marketing and production.
What is your favorite Disney movie of 2016 so far?