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Star Wars: The Force Awakens helps Disney land record $2.9 billion quarter

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Mickey's grinning from ear-to-ear

The triumphant success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens has lead to Disney's most profitable quarter in the company's history.

The company saw $2.9 billion in earnings by Jan. 2, a huge increase over the previous quarter's $2.2 billion net income. CEO and Chairman of Disney, Bob Iger, said during an investors call on Tuesday that most of that profit was thanks to the "phenomenal success of Star Wars." The Force Awakens just passed the $2 billion mark at the world box office, putting it just behind James Cameron's Avatar as the highest grossing movie of all time.

Although the movie had a large part to do with Disney's record quarter, it was in combination with the Star Wars toy line and video game tie ins that the company achieved the financial milestone.


According to the official report on Disney's site, revenue from the various toys and games sold both in stores and online accounted for $1.9 billion worth of revenue. Star Wars: Battlefront, in particular, was noted for its success, while Disney Infinity was called out for less than stellar numbers that effectively lost money for the company.

The success of The Force Awakens increased operating income in Disney's Studio Entertainment sector by a total of 86 percent, while its Consumer Products & Interactive Media division saw a total increase in profits of 23%.

Iger also pointed out that considering the toys were released before The Force Awakens was even released, they're interested to see what that sector of the company will earn in the second quarter now that the film is playing in theaters.

While not outlined in the report, during Disney's Q1 investors call, the company said that its Marvel division also helped drive the record-breaking profit. The company reiterated that Marvel was one of its most profitable divisions and a sector it was going to invest in even more heavily moving forward.

Captain America: Civil War, the next Marvel movie set to be released, is expected to bring in huge numbers. The second installment in the Captain America franchise, Winter Solider, made $714 million at the world box office when it was released in 2014.

The company also noted that despite losing some potential earning with its Disney channel and stake in Hulu, it was dedicated to bringing more original content to the broadcast network and service.

Iger said that while the company unfortunately lost money on Hulu, the streaming service had a plan of action to increase original content for subscribers and arrange for more deals between television networks so it could air their content.


It was recently reported that Time Warner was going to purchase 25 percent of the company to ensure that Hulu wouldn't be able to continue next-day streaming; one of the most important aspects to the service for subscribers.

Iger wouldn't comment on the report, but reiterated that Disney was confident in the service's direction and was dedicated to bringing more original content to Hulu.

Despite some losses, Iger and the rest of the team at Disney were elated by the Q1 results and reassured investors that with Star Wars now one of its biggest intellectual properties, they were positive their profits would only continue to grow.