Is Disney Still On Top?




According to Jennifer Holt’s book, Empire of Entertainment, Walt Disney dominated the box office since nearly 1984 when Jeffrey Katzenberg left Paramount to lead Disney. Holt calls this a renaissance period for Disney. Between 1991 and 1996, Disney was still top of the box office and Warner Bros. was the only other close competitor. When looking at Opus data of distributors and the success of their films from 2007 through 2016, one can’t help but ask, is Disney still on top? While the Warner Bros. came close in the mid 1990s, I was curious to explore where both Walt Disney and Warner Bros. are at now. After analyzing the data from both Walt Disney and Warner Bros., from 2007 through 2014 both distributors seemed to be neck in neck when comparing their box office revenue. In 2015, Walt Disney’s films were noticeably more successful in the box office.

Looking at this data analysis, it is no doubt that Disney is on top as far as the box office. While this is praised and named successful, I was also curious to see what benefit this box office success has for distributors and their films. In order to look further into this, I decided to compare the profitability of these films during both 2015 and 2016.

While the box office success is praised through word of mouth, Warner Bros. has received the most success in profit in 2015 and 2016 with Me Before You and Magic Mike XXL in 2015 and Lights Out in 2016. Which is more desirable, box office success or profitability to have the ability to continue?


  1. […] is one of these six key players—as has been remarked upon in other posts on this blog—and has been since their “Renaissance” period of the 1990’s. Notably, Disney […]

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