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Disney reports record-breaking year thanks to Star Wars and Marvel films

Generates $55.6B in revenue

Captain America and Iron Man Marvel Studios/Disney

Disney’s acquisition of Marvel and Lucasfilms continues to pay off for the entertainment conglomerate, with the company announcing a record-breaking $55.6 billion in revenue.

Disney CEO and president, Bob Iger, attributed last year’s fiscal success to the opening of the Shanghai Disney Resort and incredible position at the box office. More than $7.5 billion was raised in global cinemas alone, thanks to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Captain America: Civil War, Zootopia, Finding Dory and other major films.

“We’re very pleased with our performance for the year, delivering the highest revenue, net income and earnings per share in Disney’s history,” Iger said. “We remain confident that Disney will continue to deliver strong growth over the long-term as we further strengthen our brands and franchises, our technological capabilities, and our international presence.”

Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War was the company’s biggest movie, grossing more than $1.15 billion. Zootopia came in second at $1.023 billion globally, with Pixar’s Finding Dory coming in just under Zootopia at $1.022 billion. Disney’s live-action remake of The Jungle Book made $966 million, with last year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens making $736 million of its total $2.068 billion box office revenue this year. Despite the success of the aforementioned films, Disney’s Pete’s Dragon and Queen of Katwe did underperform at the box office.

During an investors call, Disney reminded investors that despite having a solid slate of films for the fiscal 2017 year — including Cars 3, Pirates of the Caribbean 5, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story — it may not top the company’s record-breaking 2016 fiscal year. Both Iger and Christine McCarthy, executive vice president of Disney, said that Star Wars: The Force Awakens had a large role to play in the year’s success.

In September, Iger told investors that the company wasn’t expecting Rogue One to match the success that The Force Awakens had for multiple reasons. The most blatant, he said, was that the company didn’t think it could replicate the level of excitement that surrounded The Force Awakens when it was released because it was the first new Star Wars movie in 10 years.

Moving away from its studios business, Disney briefly addressed its 17 percent decrease in revenues under its interactive entertainment sector. That shouldn’t be too surprising, however, considering Disney discontinued its Infinity line of games earlier this year. In order to make up for the loss in revenue, Disney turned to layoffs and licensing deals as a cost-saving initiative. More than 300 employees were laid off from Disney’s in-house developer, Avalanche Studios, as a result.

Still, Iger isn’t worried about the future with Marvel’s latest movie, Doctor Strange, which already generated $377 million at the box office and the imminent Rogue One. Rogue One will be released in the U.S. on Dec. 16, 2016.

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