A very brief commentary on two media companies and their franchises.
Disney (NYSE: DIS) continues to do well with its Princess franchise. Beauty and the Beast is now at over $1 billion in terms of worldwide box office gross. An incredible performance. When I first heard predictions that the movie might hit that level, I didn't take them too seriously. Sure, $700/$800 million, but another billion-dollar picture? That would seem too fortunate for Disney. But Disney did it again.
Fox (NYSE: FOX) (NYSE: FOXA) recently announced some franchise news. The company's Avatar movie series is set to begin again, although not for some time. That cinematic universe will see its first follow-up hit theaters during the month of December 2020. During some years after that, other sequels will be produced.
Should Disney be worried? Avatar is going to represent strong competition within the blockbuster industry.
I don't think, though, that Disney will suddenly see its box-office position destroyed by the arrival of James Cameron's science-fiction action series. Disney has Star Wars, Marvel, and Pixar in addition to its Princess pictures. It also has a better marketing/merchandising operation, in my opinion, than Fox does, and finally, as many have observed, as well as Avatar did in theaters way back when, is there truly a demand in the marketplace for sequels to this concept? I didn't see the film, but I have to wonder if indeed that could be the case. Although, let me point out that the first sequel, no matter what, is going to be a big deal at the box office.
One thing's for certain: until the latest Avatar adventure hits theaters, the Mouse will dominate theaters with its multiplex magic.
Disclosure: I am/we are long DIS.