Disney's The Last Jedi Smashes Records, Crosses $1B Mark

The Walt Disney Compan y's DISStar Wars: The Last Jedi is flying high at the box office, with its worldwide collection crossing the $1 billion mark. The movie which recorded the second largest opening ever has already become the eighth highest grossing movie domestically. Further, the film is likely to overtake the seventh placed movie Star Wars: Rogue One in the coming days.

Per the latest report, the company has not only garnered $517.1 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.

After the phenomenal opening weekend, second and third-weekend success, speculations are rife whether the movie can surpass the Fate of the Furious and Beauty and the Beast collections of $1.23 billion and $1.26 billion, respectively to become the highest grossing movie of 2017 globally. We believe that given the kind of success the movie has already tasted, it would hardly be a surprise if it overtakes both the aforementioned films.

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 7.6%, outperforming the industry 's growth of 1.2%. 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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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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