Disney’s film division, much like fellow hit-maker 20th Century Fox, isn’t having the best summer at the box office. Despite the success of Pixar’s Wall-E, Disney is smack dab in last place among the six major film studios in terms of Hollywood market share. But the studio’s prepared to rebound this fall with animated features and High School Musical‘s big-screen debut.
LA Times: Disney’s film division, experiencing one of its worst slumps at the box office in years, is counting on talking dogs and singing teens to turn things around.
When Walt Disney Co. reported earnings last week, the glaring weak spot in an otherwise strong quarter was the company’s Studio Entertainment unit, which encompasses the movie studio. Operating income plunged 49% and revenue was off 19% from a year ago, mostly because Disney’s pictures didn’t meet expectations.
With its newest release, the political comedy “Swing Vote,” buried in a landslide last weekend and U.S. ticket sales down nearly 30% this year, Disney finds itself in last place among the six major studios in box-office market share — unusual for a company usually at or near the top.
Disney is betting that won’t last long, however. It has high hopes this fall for “Beverly Hills Chihuahua,” about a pampered pooch from the 90210 ZIP Code lost in Mexico, and “Bolt,” an animated film about a showbiz dog. That project is being shepherded by Pixar Animation Studios guru John Lasseter. Disney is also releasing “High School Musical 3: Senior Year,” the third movie in the pubescent franchise and the first premiering on the big screen.
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