The past year was a fairly good one for Disney, as the studio managed to grow its domestic grosses and release better films than any other major distributor, while also averaging more dollars per release than its competitors. Though the studio continued to underperform slightly on the animation front (Brave, though certainly a major hit with over $535m worldwide, was the lowest-grossing Pixar film since 2008), it scored an enormous live-action hit with Marvel's The Avengers, which is now the third highest-grossing film of all time. Even John Carter, considered one of the past year's biggest commercial flops, grossed over $282 million worldwide (its flop status is more a result of its enormous budget, which rendered the film unprofitable despite its global success).
The studio also boasted a major critical success in Lincoln, the Steven Spielberg-directed drama that was nominated for a dozen Academy Awards. Lincoln was one of six Disney releases last year to earn positive reviews, making Disney the only major studio with green Metascores for over half of its releases. Disney was also the only major distributor to avoid releasing a single negatively reviewed film in 2012. As a result, the studio's average Metascore increased by nearly 8 points compared to 2011. The company also received more Oscar nominations (16) than any other major distributor.
While repeating that level of critical success in 2013 looks unlikely, Disney could have another nice year at the box office, with can't-miss films like Iron Man 3 and Monsters University arriving this summer. For something better than "nice," Disney will also have to score with a non-Pixar Cars spinoff Planes, a second Thor movie, and its huge-budget Lone Ranger film, which already looks destined to be this year's John Carter.
|Film||Studio||Domestic Gross*||Metascore||User Score|
|The Secret World of Arrietty ***||Walt Disney||$19,202,743||80||8.2|
|Wreck-It Ralph||Walt Disney||$183,256,216||73||8.5|
|The Avengers||Walt Disney||$623,357,910||69||8.0|
|John Carter||Walt Disney||$73,078,100||51||7.1|
|People Like Us||Touchstone||$12,434,778||49||5.9|
|The Odd Life of Timothy Green||Walt Disney||$51,854,875||48||6.9|