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Disney’s The Last Jedi off to Disappointing Start in China


The Walt Disney Company’s DIS Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which shattered records at domestic box office had disappointing opening in China. In the opening weekend, the company managed to collect only $28.7 million, which came in below its last two Star Wars movies. Notably, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story have recorded $52.3 million and $30 million in ticket sales, respectively, in China in the opening weekend.

However, the worldwide collection of Star Wars: The Last Jedi has crossed $1 billion mark. The movie which recorded the second largest opening ever has already become the eighth highest grossing movie domestically.

Per the latest report, the company has not only garnered more than $570 million domestically but has also surpassed the Beauty and the Beast domestic collection of $504 million to become the highest grossing movie of 2017.

During, the opening weekend the movie raked in $450 million globally. This is the second movie under the Lucasfilm’s latest Star Wars trilogy, the first one being Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In fact, this eighth episode of Star Wars has set expectations soaring for the final part of the trilogy — Star Wars: Episode IX — scheduled for release in December 2019.

All’s Well That Ends Well

Disney’s Studio segment, which impressed investors with blockbuster hits in 2016, has somewhat disappointed in 2017 as the year has been dull for the movie industry. However, the company’s latest flick has provided a superb ending to 2017, which is a huge boost as we move into 2018. Moreover, analysts believe that the deal with Rian Johnson, the director of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, to produce a brand new Star Wars trilogy may rekindle investors’ hopes. Further, we believe that the coming two years will be most productive for Disney.

This year, the company is expected to release Black Panther, A Wrinkle in Time, Avengers: Infinity War, The Incredibles 2 and Ant-Man and the Wasp.

In addition, the recent deal between Disney and Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. FOXA is likely to enhance the company’s Studio Entertainment segment and overall performance. Per the deal, Disney will acquire majority of Twenty-First Century’s assets worth $52.4 billion that include its Film and Television studios along with cable and international TV businesses. The total transaction amount is nearly $66.1 billion that comprises $13.7 billion of Twenty-First Century Fox’s net debt.

In the past three months, Disney’s shares have gained 13%, outperforming the industry's growth of 4.3%. This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company shares space with Time Warner Inc. TWX and Viacom, Inc. VIAB. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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