Disney stock jumps after ‘The Lion King’ and ‘Avengers: Endgame’ set box office records

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“The Lion King” (2019)
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Disney

  • Disney shares opened 1% higher Monday after the weekend brought a record July opening for “The Lion King” and established “Avengers: Endgame” as the highest-grossing movie of all time.
  • James Cameron’s “Avatar” was the last blockbuster to hold the record for biggest international release. Disney acquired the “Avatar” franchise in 2019 when it merged with Fox.
  • Five of the top six openings in 2019 are Disney movies. Sequels to “Maleficent” and “Frozen” are slated for release later in the year.
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Disney shares opened 1% higher Monday after the weekend secured two box office records between “The Lion King” and “Avengers: Endgame.”

The entertainment giant continued its movie theater dominance when its photo-realistic remake of “The Lion King” brought in an estimated $185 million in the US. The release makes for the biggest July opening in history. The last movie to hold the July record was “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2,” which made $169.1 million when it opened in 2011.

Disney also took the record for the biggest movie of all time. “Avengers: Endgame” is expected to have surpassed “Avatar” over the weekend, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige announced on Saturday at San Diego Comic Con. “Avatar” grossed about $2.79 billion in 2009, and “Endgame” was just $500,000 behind the record as of Friday.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe team-up first opened on April 26 before a late June re-release. Feige also announced the next slate of Marvel movies and Disney+ TV shows during the Saturday SDCC panel.

Disney owns Marvel Studios and acquired the “Avatar” franchise as part of 2019’s merger with Fox. James Cameron’s blockbuster will receive four sequels, with the first set to release in December 2021.

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The company now has five of the top six biggest openings of 2019, according to Box Office Mojo. The other Disney films included are “Toy Story 4,” “Captain Marvel,” and “Aladdin.” Sony’s “Spider-Man: Far From Home” sits at the #5 spot, and was produced in association with Marvel Studios.

Disney has several big-budget films on the docket for the rest of the 2019. A sequel to 2014’s “Maleficent,” starring Angelina Jolie, will open October 18. “Frozen II” is slated for a November release. The original animated film made roughly $1.28 billion in 2013 and remains the highest-grossing movie from Walt Disney Animation Studios.

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