Updated with Sunday AM figures While it will take two years or less until Disney fully controls Fox, here’s a current statistic to give you a taste of their combined box office power during a blockbuster weekend, post merger news. Currently, total domestic ticket sales look to gross $280M this weekend per ComScore, and Disney and Fox films combined are generating 90% of that total or $252.1M.
Even though total weekend ticket sales are -11% from when Star Wars: The Force Awakens was in the marketplace two years ago spurring $313.2M, Disney-Fox’s combined marketshare this weekend is greater than in 2015 had they merged then (86% of the Force Awakens weekend or $269.2M) and last year’s Rogue One opening weekend (81% of a $211.6M overall weekend or $171.9M). Compared to last year when Rogue One debuted, the overall U.S./Canada weekend B.O. is +32%.
True, Disney/Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi is responsible for driving 79% of the weekend’s overall business with a $220M opening. However, Fox’s product is solid in the shadow of Last Jedi. Their Blue Studios animated film Ferdinandmade $13.3M, a good start that will only swell during the holidays (their Alvin and the Chipmunks: Road Chip generated a 6x multiple off a $14.2M opening versus Force Awakens’ near $248M opening). Before Fox’s Murder on the Orient Express opened (the movie also stars Last Jedi‘s Daisy Ridley), the film on paper appeared to be a challenge with its period setting. That’s hardly the case with Murder set to cross $100M a month later, fueled largely by an over-50 audience. On top of this, Fox Searchlight’s awards contenders are coming in ahead from where we saw them on Saturday with The Shape of Water earning $1.7M this weekend and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri making $1.6M. Disney also has Pixar’s Coco in third place drawing $10M and Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok in 7th place with close to $3M. 20th Century Fox is also opening the period Hugh Jackman musical about P.T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman on Wednesday. So not only is a Disney-Fox combination event driven in the current weekend, but appealing to a diversity of demos as well.