Jul 22, 2019

"Avengers" surpasses "Avatar" as highest-grossing film of all time

Disney's presentation of Marvel's "Avengers: Endgame" has officially surpassed "Avatar" to become the world's highest-grossing film of all time, several months after the film obliterated opening weekend records.

Why it matters: The feat underscores Disney's position as the king of the box office. Disney has had the top grossing movie every year since 2012 and been the top grossing studio since 2016.

By the numbers: Disney has reported an estimated $2,790.2 million in revenue through Sunday for "Avengers: Endgame," per Comscore. James Cameron's 2009 science fiction film "Avatar" had previously held the top spot of the highest grossing global release of all time with $2,789.7 million.

The big picture: Disney's success can largely be attributed to the three franchises that it has cultivated or acquired over the past few years: Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars.

  • Including content from Disney studios, Disney properties represent roughly 40% of the revenue from the top 100 top-grossing films.
  • Many of these films and franchises were acquired by Disney via its acquisition of most of 21 Century Fox's entertainment assets last year. Ironically, the Avatar franchise now sits within the Disney family ("Avatar 2" is set for release in 2021.).
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Data: Box Office Mojo; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Bottom line: Avengers' success speaks to the power of cinema in driving revenue and cultural relevance for film. At a time where streaming movies is growing in popularity, it's notable that a modern film has been able to still break through at the box office.

Go deeper

Disney smashes box office records with more blockbusters to come

Data: Investing.com; Chart: Axios Visuals

Disney's 2019 movie run has broken the all-time annual global box office record just 7 months into the year. And with more big-budget blockbusters still to come this year, and already in possession of more than a third of the world's total box office receipts, the company seems unstoppable.

What's happening: Disney's acquisitions of LucasFilm and Marvel have delivered huge wins for the company, but it's been the ability to produce live-action remakes from its own catalogue that has set the table over the last decade.

Go deeperArrowJul 29, 2019

Disney finally unveils Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu bundle for $12.99 monthly

Photo: Mike Kemp/Getty Images.

Disney CEO Bob Iger finally announced details for the long-awaited Disney streaming bundle that executives have been teasing for months. The bundle is meant to be an alternative to Hollywood rival Netflix.

Details: For $12.99 monthly, consumers can access Disney+, ESPN+ and the ad-supported version of Hulu. The deal will be available when Disney+ launches on Nov. 12. The combined package will be cheaper than Netflix's premium package, which is $13.99 a month.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Aug 6, 2019

Mueller got more social media buzz than "Game of Thrones"

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

Former special counsel Robert Mueller has maintained a constant level of social media momentum in 2019, even outpacing some of the year's most buzzworthy cultural events, according to data from the social media analytics company NewsWhip.

Why it matters: It reveals just how deeply political stories have become enmeshed with traditional cultural discourse — and how the two can often seem indistinguishable.

Go deeperArrowJul 29, 2019