Thursday, January 2, 2014

… And I Helped!

The Mouse House took in $4.73 billion at the international box office this past year…

$3 billion of that came from overseas grosses alone, and this is the fourth consecutive year where the studio had made over $2 billion around the globe.

Five of their films grossed over $200 million at the domestic box office, as opposed to just two last year: The Avengers and Brave.

Iron Man 3 was obviously going to be huge given the massive success of The Avengers before it, and the fact that Tony Stark is the Avenger who draws in the most crowds. 3D made things even better for this Marvel Cinematic Universe installment, $409 million stateside and over $1.5 billion worldwide is not too shabby!

Thor: The Dark World was also big because of this, but to a much lesser extent. Its marketing didn't really do all that good of a job making it look like it was worth seeing, but it's Thor, he's an Avenger and it pretty much kicked off the holiday season if Gravity didn't one month earlier. The sequel topped the original both stateside and globally. It's currently sitting at $629 million, you can't beat that!

Yes, the Marvel acquisition was an extremely smart business decision on Disney's part, wasn't it?

Oz the Great and Powerful seemed to benefit from the success of Alice in Wonderland and the rebooted fairy tale/classic children's stories fad. With a family-friendly PG rating and visual sparkle, Oz opened well and grossed a good amount here and overseas. While not a major success, it did break even. A near-$500 million total is still great!

Monsters University's success was a no-brainer: It's Pixar, it's a prequel to one of their beloved films, it was a summer release, its college setting got the teen audiences in easily. Its legs weren't the most spectacular, but it took in a massive $745 million worldwide making it Pixar's third biggest film behind Toy Story 3 and Finding Nemo, and further proving that feature animation will be now and forever. Suits look at those numbers and they want more!

But something else happened to help Disney reach the new box office height this year… A lot, I might add…

It happened to be the Walt Disney Animation Studios film that was released just in time for the holidays…

That's right. Frozen.

Domestically, it's on track to actually beat The Lion King's initial release gross of $312 million, and it just topped Monsters University. It's back at #1, actually. Worldwide, it's currently sitting at $539 million and it will beat the God of Thunder in no time, and will probably dethrone the college-bound Mike and Sulley. Imagine that: Walt Disney Animation Studios' newest film outgrossing the Pixar entry domestically and worldwide (yes, Tangled beat Cars 2 in North America and internationally, but Cars 2 was poorly received), and on top of that, the big budget tentpole and the Marvel blockbuster.

You know what this means…

Disney is finally going to start treating Walt Disney Animation Studios with even more respect, now that Frozen has made quite a hefty amount of money in just two months. Tangled and Wreck-It Ralph were not "once in a lifetime" hits, the studio is roaring again now that people are catching onto the fact that they are currently making good quality films. (Of course, I want these same people who flocked to see Frozen to go rent Meet The Robinsons, Bolt, The Princess and the Frog and Winnie the Pooh.) Now, next up is a Marvel animated film. The pieces have all fallen into place, Disney is most likely going to give the San Fransokyo-set action-packed epic a really big marketing push that'll ensure a blockbuster-sized gross.

In turn, it should help their future films. The once-dormant studio is now more than a valuable asset to the company, as they now make big hits for them and will end up contributing to the big amounts of moolah the company makes in a calendar year. It ain't gonna be just Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm bringing in the massive amounts of dough. Quite a contrast from the fate I feared the studio would suffer. Earlier in the year, I irrationally worried that the bigwigs would possibly slowly phase the studio out and just get the big money from their acquisitions and live action franchises. Silly me…

What a way to start 2014, huh? Knowing that Walt Disney Animation Studios is really ready to go full steam ahead. All we need now is for each new film to be consistently and wholly satisfying.


  1. One issue with the article, and thats MU is the 3rd highest grossing film from Pixar. The second is Finding Nemo at more than 900 mill and obviously then TS3 at over 1 billion. Still big bucks, though.

    1. Corrected. Good eye. (How could I forget Nemo??)

  2. Not only that, Disney's stock is also at an all time high, $76 to the exact. Disney is coming back big time. Plus, I think that the success "Get a Horse!" along with "Frozen should have that untitled Mickey Mouse film in production. Highly unlikely, but I can dream.

  3. I just love that the heart of the company (WDAS) is beating really hard again! Frozen just proved that WDAS is having a new Revival and yes I agree that all the people that has seen Frozen, Wreck-It Ralph and Tangled rent Meet the Robinsons, Bolt, The Princess and the Frog and Winnie the Pooh to see the whole process of how the studio built their way to the top again.

    I also expect they will treat Big Hero 6 as a must see event and that the marketing will start earlier this year than it did with Frozen in 2013. Without a Pixar film, Big Hero 6 is the only Disney animated event of the year and they needed to treat as such. Not a last minute marketing campaign like they did with Frozen but a grand scale event that will convince everyone to go and see the movie. After all is Disney Animation and Marvel in one film. What could possibly be better than that?