The Walt Disney Company is a household name and has earned its reputation with a set of careful and curated business decisions that have allowed them to become one of the world’s most powerful and popular entertainment giants. The Mouse House has amassed a massive and devoted fan following that has certainly paid off between their various segments. Whether from the Disney Parks, the Disney movies, or even their merchandise, Disney has a stronghold on practically every market it’s a part of. The proof is in the pudding. Six weeks into 2023, Disney has just crossed the one billion dollar threshold with box office performances.
The primary Disney films behind this huge accomplishment are Avatar: The Way of Water from director James Cameron, which became the third highest-grossing film of all time, and the recently released Ant-man: Quantumania; the re-release of Titanic also helped. Of the billion that Disney has already grossed at the box office in 2023, $383 million came from the domestic box office and $900 from international markets and the worldwide box office.
Is Iger’s strategy playing out exactly as the Disney board, investors, and the Walt Disney Company, on the whole, might have hoped?
Leave alone the fact that many other studios can only dream of hitting $1 billion at the box office, the fact that Disney has done so this early in the year could be indicative that the Mouse House is back on the rise. Recall also that last year, Disney lost $120 billion overall—of their most significant loss-making sectors being streaming—and one of Iger’s goals, as he mentioned during the February 8 earnings call, has been to make streaming profitable. Along with this, Iger has said that Disney will be focusing on quality, not quantity, and has even vowed to put the power back in the hands of the creatives.
While much is yet to be seen for whether this streak will continue, it’s certainly evident that the Walt Disney Company is making drastic changes to account for the losses they’ve experienced. We also found out on the same call that the House of Mouse would be laying off 7000 employees.
With all this coming to a head, here’s hoping Disney will make up the difference this year and keep its crown as the world’s most prolific entertainment house.