Metacritic's 3rd Annual Movie Studio Report Card

  • Comments: ↓ 3 user comments
  • Publish Date: February 6, 2012

Walt Disney

Image Quality: C+ Score
Averages:
Critics Users Metascore Distribution
(13 releases):

57.9 6.7
Performance: C Score Trend:

Compared to a 2010 in which it released the two highest-grossing films, Walt Disney Pictures had a relatively lackluster 2011. The studio once again placed fourth among the six majors in total domestic grosses last year, and third globally, but its total receipts were down in both categories compared to the year before. And even Disney's hits—Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (over $1 billion worldwide) and Cars 2 ($559 million worldwide)—grossed less in the U.S. than their predecessors, though the studio had an unexpected success in The Help. However, Disney also accounted for the year's biggest box office flop: Mars Needs Moms, which earned under $40 million worldwide against a budget of $150 million.

Cars 2 wasn't just a slight disappointment at the box office; it also was the first Pixar film to date to fail to receive positive reviews from critics. Despite that rare misfire, Disney managed to increase its average Metascore by over four points compared to 2010, and the studio finished second in overall quality among the six majors. And Disney was the only major studio to score two best picture nominees (the aforementioned The Help, plus Steven Spielberg's War Horse) this year. The studio also released just one critical dud (I Am Number Four, also a bit of a box office failure) last year after releasing three such films in 2010.

Save for The Avengers, which should be a massive hit when it arrives in May, 2012 is shaping up to be relatively quiet for Disney. Success or failure will likely hinge on whether new, unproven properties like the sci-fi action film John Carter and the new Pixar title Brave connect with audiences.

2011 Releases for Disney
Film Studio Domestic Gross* Metascore User Score
The MuppetsWalt Disney$87,314,426757.8
Winnie the PoohWalt Disney$26,692,846747.5
War HorseTouchstone$75,780,056726.0
Fright NightTouchstone$18,302,607646.9
The HelpTouchstone$169,613,398627.5
African CatsDisneynature$15,428,747617.3
Cars 2 Pixar $191,452,396576.0
Real SteelTouchstone$85,371,428567.5
Gnomeo and JulietTouchstone$99,967,670536.0
PromWalt Disney$10,130,219506.4
Mars Needs MomsWalt Disney$21,392,758495.6
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Walt Disney $241,071,802456.5
I Am Number FourTouchstone$55,100,437366.2

* Domestic Gross includes box office receipts through January 30, 2012 for films still in theaters. Source for grosses: Box Office Mojo.

Comments (3)

  • TitaniumDragon  

    I think the most troubling thing about this is the fact that the highest scoring films of 2012 were limited release movies, and that this trend has been ongoing. The question I think we need to ask, when we see this trend year after year, is whether the critics are actually rating movies properly, and whether the studios are distributing movies properly. If the best movies aren't seeing wide release, the question we must ask ourselves is whether the best movies are actually the best movies.

  • buellerbueller  

    Lionsgate has a D, film quality wise. They also made "The Artist". lol

  • LamontRaymond  

    Sony Pictures Classics was the gold standard in 2011. And this stuff doesn't happen by accident. The Tim Robbins-style green-lighter over there is just getting it done. Congrats! Great sense of what's good AND what can make you money.

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