Disney Is Poised to Dominate the Summer Movie Season

Lisa Richwine

 

This is an excerpt from an article originally published by Reuters. Read the rest here.

 

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The final chapter in a decade-long superhero saga and the remake of a big-screen classic could topple box-office records during a summer movie season expected to be dominated by Walt Disney Co.

 

 Avengers: Endgame from Disney’s Marvel Studios kicks off Hollywood’s parade of potential blockbusters on Wednesday, and it is expected to start with a bang. Industry experts say Endgame will likely deliver the biggest opening weekend ever in the United States and Canada.

 

Then in July, a new version of Disney hit The Lion King has a shot at dethroning Avatar as the highest-grossing film in Hollywood history, according to box office analysts.

 

Those movies and others are giving theater owners hope for a turnaround after a sluggish start to 2019. Ticket sales so far are running 16 percent below last year’s bonanza, data from measurement company Comscore showed.

 

 

Studios used to reserve their big-budget films for summer, making it Hollywood’s most lucrative season, but now spread them throughout the year.

 

Possible heavy hitters include Detective Pikachu and Godzilla: King of the Monsters from AT&T Inc’s Warner Bros, The Secret Life of Pets 2 from Comcast Corp’s Universal Pictures, and Sony Corp’s Spider-Man: Far from Home.

 

But Disney’s lineup is seen as the most formidable. The company’s other 2019 releases include Toy Story 4, a remake of Aladdin, Frozen 2, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

 

“Disney has probably the strongest film slate in the history of the industry this year,” Cowen & Co analyst Doug Creutz said.

 

 

The new Lion King tells the well-known story of the plucky cub Simba through computer-generated imagery designed to look like live action. A trailer released at Thanksgiving generated 224.6 million views within 24 hours, a Disney record.

 

Even so, it will not be easy for the king of the jungle to reach the top of the box office mountain. Avatar grossed $2.8 billion after its 2009 release and is one of only four movies ever to cross $2 billion.

 

Lion King boosters noted the original film hauled in $968.5 million way back in 1994, with lower ticket prices. This time, it will play in a booming Chinese movie market that has grown to the world’s second largest, positioning it to take in far more than the original’s $5 million in the country.

 

Reporting by Lisa Richwine; editing by Cynthia Osterman.

 

This is an excerpt from an article originally published by Reuters. Read the rest here.

 

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