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Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures (originally established as Buena Vista Film Distribution Company, Inc., Buena Vista Distribution Company, Inc. and Buena Vista Pictures Distribution, Inc.) is an American film distributor owned by The Walt Disney Company.[1] Established in 1953 as Buena Vista Film Distribution Company, the company handles theatrical distribution, marketing and promotion for films produced and released by the Walt Disney Studios, including Walt Disney Pictures, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar, DisneyToon Studios, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, Disneynature, and Touchstone Pictures.[2] The division took on its current name in April 2007,[2] which before that had been Buena Vista Pictures Distribution since 1987.[3]

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Formerly called
Buena Vista Pictures Distribution (1953-2007)
Division
Industry Motion pictures
Founded June 23, 1953; 64 years ago
Headquarters 500 S. Buena Vista Street
Burbank, California
, United States
Services Film distribution and marketing
Parent Walt Disney Studios
(The Walt Disney Company)
Divisions
  • Walt Disney Studios Marketing
  • Worldwide Special Events
Subsidiaries Buena Vista Theatres, Inc.
Website waltdisneystudios.com/corp/unit/74

Contents

HistoryEdit

Buena Vista Pictures DistributionEdit

Before 1953, Walt Disney's productions were distributed by Winkler Pictures, Powers Pictures, Universal Pictures (Oswald the Lucky Rabbit shorts), Columbia Pictures (1930–1932), United Artists (1932–1937) and RKO Radio Pictures (1937–1953).[4] However, a dispute over the distribution of Disney's first full-length movie, The Living Desert, in the True-Life Adventures series of live-action documentary featurettes[4] in 1953 led to Walt and his older brother Roy O. Disney to form its wholly owned subsidiary, the Buena Vista Film Distribution Company, Inc. (BVDC), to handle North American distribution of their own products.[2] RKO refused to distribute the film.[4] The name "Buena Vista" came from the street in Burbank, California, where the Disney Studios was located (and remains to this day). Buena Vista's first release was the Academy Award–winning live-action feature The Living Desert on November 10, 1953, along with Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom, Buena Vista's first animated release.[5] Notable subsequent releases include the foreign film, Princess Yang Kwei-Fei (Most Noble Lady), released in US theaters in September 1956,[6][7][8] The Missouri Traveler in March 1958,[5] and The Big Fisherman in July 1959 (the first third-party production financed by Disney).[5]

By July 5, 1957, RKO Japan, Ltd. was sold to Disney Productions and British Commonwealth Film Corporation. In allocating the foreign film licenses to the company, Disney would use 5 and Commonwealth 8.[9]

In April 1960, the company dropped "Film" from its name.[3] In 1961, Disney incorporated Buena Vista International (BVI),[10] distributing its first PG rated film, Take Down, in January 1979.[5] The low-budget movie was not produced by the Disney studios and was acquired from an independent studio, making The Black Hole the first PG-rated Disney film.[11] In July 1987, Buena Vista changed its name to Buena Vista Pictures Distribution, Inc. (BVPD).[3]

Late in the 1980s, Disney purchased a controlling stake in one of Pacific Theatres' chain[12] leading to Disney's Buena Vista Theaters and Pacific to renovate the El Capitan Theatre and the Crest by 1989.[13] The Crest was finished first while El Capitan opened with the premiere of The Rocketeer film on June 19, 1991.[14]

In 1992, Buena Vista made production loans totaling $5.6 million to Cinergi Pictures for its film Medicine Man and its 1994 films Renaissance Man and Color of Night and were distributing Cinergi's films. The corporation purchased a 12.8% share in Cinergi with its initial public offering in 1994.[15] Soon, BVPD signed a 25 picture distribution deal with Cinergi.[16][17]

The Gaumont Film Company and Disney formed Gaumont Buena Vista International, a joint venture in French distribution, in 1993.[18] In August 1996, Disney and Tokuma Shoten Publishing agreed that Disney would distribute internationally Studio Ghibli animated films.[19] In September 1996, following Disney's acquisition of Capital Cities/ABC, Buena Vista Pictures Distribution, Inc. was merged[3] into ABC, Inc.,[20] the parent company of that group.

For the November 1995 premiere of Toy Story, Disney rented the Hollywood Masonic Temple — adjacent to the El Capitan Theatre — for Totally Toy Story, a multimedia funhouse and a promotional event for the movie.[21] In July 1998, Buena Vista Pictures Distribution purchased the Hollywood Masonic Temple building to continue using it as a promotional venue.[22]

By 1997, BVPD's share in Cinergi dropped to 5%. After nine films were delivered under the agreement, Cinergi sold Disney on November 22, 1997 all of its 12 film library except for Die Hard with a Vengeance plus $20 million in exchange for Disney' Cinergi share holdings, production advances of $35.4 million and other loans.[16][17] In 2002, Disney signed a four animated film deal with Vanguard Animation,[23] however, only one film was released under that negotiation.[24]

In 2004, BVI and Gaumont dissolved their French distribution joint venture, Gaumont Buena Vista International.[18] Buena Vista International agreed to a distribution deal with MegaStar Joint Venture Company Limited in April 2006 for the Vietnam market.[25]

Walt Disney Studios Motion PicturesEdit

In April 2007, Disney discontinued the usage of the Buena Vista brand in its distribution branding.[2] In 2012, The Walt Disney Company acquired UTV Motion Pictures through UTV Software Communications.[26] Since then, UTV Motion Pictures became the exclusive distributor for all Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures releases for the South Asian market from 2013 onward. In 2009, Disney entered a distribution agreement with a reorganized DreamWorks; the deal called for an estimated 30 films over a five-year period from DreamWorks and they would be released through the Touchstone Pictures label.[27] The distribution deal ended in 2016, after DreamWorks and Disney decided to not renew their agreement in December 2015, with Universal replacing Disney as DreamWorks' distributor.[28][29] By the end of the deal, Disney had distributed 14 of DreamWorks' original 30-picture agreement.[30][31] Disney took complete ownership of the DreamWorks II film library in exchange for loans made to that company.[32]

In October 2017, it was announced that the Buena Vista International banner will be revived by Disney for distribution of M. Night Shyamalan's Glass, a sequel to his earlier films Unbreakable (distributed by Touchstone) and Split (distributed by Universal). Through an arrangement made with Disney, Universal will retain domestic rights to the film, while Touchstone (through Buena Vista International) will distribute in international territories.[33] The UK-produced film Patrick will also be released under the newly revived Buena Vista International label.

In December 2017, The Walt Disney Company announced plans to purchase 21st Century Fox, which includes 20th Century Fox, for $52.4 billion.[34]

DistributionEdit

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures has distributed 27 films that have received nominations for the Academy Award for Best Picture; four from Walt Disney Pictures, six from Touchstone Pictures, two from Hollywood Pictures, and fifteen from Miramax Films. Of those nominations, four Miramax films won the accolade; The English Patient (1996), Shakespeare In Love (1998), Chicago (2002), and No Country for Old Men (2007).[35]

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures currently distributes films from Walt Disney Studios, other Disney film units and some third-party studios including:

Walt Disney Studios[36] Active distribution deals Formerly distributed

Other Disney units

International arrangementsEdit

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International was formed in 1961 as Buena Vista International[5] On May 4, 1987, Disney signed a theatrical distribution agreement with Warner Bros.' international arm, in a joint venture to release Disney and Touchstone films in overseas markets (including the UK, Ireland, Benelux & Scandinavia) after Warner dissolved a previous overseas distribution partnership with Columbia, with Disney retaining full control of all distribution and marketing decisions on their product.[57] In 1992, Disney opted to end its joint venture with Warner Bros. to distribute their films in the aforementioned overseas markets. In those territories from 1993–2007, Disney reactivated the Buena Vista International name, and also sent distribution under it in countries that did not have any current arrangements with other companies. However, in Taiwan, a local distributor called Era took over distribution from 1992 to 1995. At that time, Buena Vista began its Taiwanese operations.[58] Distribution rights in West Germany were given to MGM (under CIC in the early 1970s) and later to 20th Century Fox before the Warner Bros. joint venture. In Russia and CIS, Mexico, Brazil, Thailand, Greece, Singapore and the Philippines, Disney films had been distributed in a joint venture with Sony Pictures Entertainment.[59] In Japan, distribution rights are handled in partnership with Toho.

Other international distributors

Film libraryEdit

Film seriesEdit

Title Release date Notes
Fantasia 1940-1999 co-production with Walt Disney Animation Studios
Dumbo 1941-present co-production with Walt Disney Animation Studios, Tim Burton Productions, Infinite Detective and Secret Machine Entertainment
Bambi 1942-2006 co-production with Walt Disney Animation Studios and DisneyToon Studios
Saludos Amigos 1942-1944 co-production with Walt Disney Animation Studios
Cinderella 1950-2015 co-production with Walt Disney Animation Studios, DisneyToon Studios, Genre Films, Allison Shearmur Productions and Beagle Pug Films
Alice in Wonderland 1951-2016 co-production with Walt Disney Animation Studios, Roth Films, The Zanuck Company, Team Todd and Tim Burton Productions
Peter Pan 1953-present co-production with Walt Disney Animation Studios and DisneyToon Studios
Lady and the Tramp 1955-2001
The Shaggy Dog 1959-2006 co-production with Mandeville Films and Boxing Cat Films
101 Dalmatians 1961-present co-production with Walt Disney Animation Studios, Great Oaks Entertainment and DisneyToon Studios
Winnie the Pooh 1966-present co-production with Walt Disney Animation Studios and DisneyToon Studios
The Jungle Book 1967-present co-production with Walt Disney Animation Studios, DisneyToon Studios and Fairview Entertainment
Herbie 1968-2005 co-production with Robert Simonds Productions
Star Wars 1977-present co-production with Lucasfilm Ltd. and 20th Century Fox
The Rescuers 1977-1990 co-production with Walt Disney Animation Studios
The Muppets 1979-present co-production with The Jim Henson Company and Mandeville Films
The Fox and the Hound 1981-2006 co-production with Walt Disney Animation Studios and DisneyToon Studios
Tron 1982-2010 co-production with Lisberger-Kushner Productions and Sean Bailey Productions
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids 1989-present
The Little Mermaid 1989-2008 co-production with Walt Disney Animation Studios and DisneyToon Studios
White Fang 1991-1994 co-production with Lisberger-Kushner Productions and Sean Bailey Productions
Beauty and the Beast 1991-2017 co-production with Walt Disney Animation Studios, DisneyToon Studios and Mandeville Films
The Mighty Ducks 1992-1996 co-production with Avnet–Kerner Productions and The Kerner Entertainment Company
Aladdin 1992-present co-production with Walt Disney Animation Studios, DisneyToon Studios, Lin Pictures and Marc Platt Productions
The Lion King 1994-present co-production with Walt Disney Animation Studios, DisneyToon Studios and Fairview Entertainment
The Santa Clause 1994-2006 co-production with Hollywood Pictures, Outlaw Productions and Boxing Cat Films
A Goofy Movie 1995-2000 co-production with DisneyToon Studios
Pocahontas 1995-1998 co-production with Walt Disney Animation Studios and DisneyToon Studios
Toy Story 1995-present co-production with Pixar Animation Studios
The Hunchback of Notre Dame 1996-2002 co-production with Walt Disney Animation Studios and DisneyToon Studios
George of the Jungle 1997-2003 co-production with Mandeville Films, Jay Ward Productions, The Kerner Entertainment Company and DreamWorks Classics
Mulan 1998-present co-production with Walt Disney Animation Studios and DisneyToon Studios
Tarzan 1999-2005
Monsters, Inc. 2001-2013 co-production with Pixar Animation Studios
Lilo & Stitch 2002-2006 co-production with Walt Disney Animation Studios and DisneyToon Studios
Finding Nemo 2003-present co-production with Pixar Animation Studios
Pirates of the Caribbean co-production with Jerry Bruckheimer Films
The Incredibles 2004-present co-production with Pixar Animation Studios
National Treasure 2004-2007 co-production with Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Junction Entertainment and Saturn Films
Cars 2006-present co-production with Pixar Animation Studios and DisneyToon Studios
Marvel Cinematic Universe 2008-present co-production with Marvel Studios, Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures, and Sony Pictures Entertainment
Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2008-2012 co-production with Mandeville Films
Gnomeo & Juliet 2011-2018 co-production with Touchstone Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Rocket Pictures
Wreck-It Ralph 2012-present co-production with Walt Disney Animation Studios
Frozen 2013-present

Highest-grossing filmsEdit

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures has released the most films that have crossed the $1 billion mark (seventeen, in worldwide grosses)[60] among major Hollywood studios, with ten of the twenty highest-grossing films of all time being distributed by Disney.[61] In addition, Disney is the first of only three studios that have released at least two billion-dollar films in the same year (the others being Warner Bros. and Universal Pictures).[62][63][64] Furthermore, Disney is the only studio that has achieved this six times, in 2010, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018—2016 of which included four $1 billion releases, a record for any studio. Three of the top five highest-grossing animated films have been released by Disney, as well as sixteen of the twenty highest-grossing G-rated films.[65] In addition, four of the top-five opening weekends were Disney releases.[66] In 2015, Disney achieved its largest yearly box-office gross worldwide and in North America.[67][68] In 2016, Disney surpassed $7 billion in worldwide yearly box-office gross—the first of any major studio—surpassing the previous 2015 record.[69]

Highest-grossing films in North America
Rank Title Year Studio label Box office gross
(millions)
1 Star Wars: The Force Awakens 2015 Lucasfilm $936.7
2 Black Panther 2018 Marvel $699.2
3 Avengers: Infinity War 2018 $675.8
4 The Avengers 2012 $623.4
5 Star Wars: The Last Jedi 2017 Lucasfilm $620.2
6 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story 2016 $532.2
7 Beauty and the Beast 2017 Disney $504.0
8 Finding Dory 2016 Disney/Pixar $486.3
9 Avengers: Age of Ultron 2015 Marvel $459.0
10 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest 2006 Disney $423.3
11 The Lion King 1994 $422.8
12 Toy Story 3 2010 Disney/Pixar $415.0
13 Iron Man 3 2013 Marvel $409.0
14 Captain America: Civil War 2016 $408.1
15 Frozen 2013 Disney $400.7
16 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 2017 Marvel $389.8
17 Finding Nemo 2003 Disney/Pixar $380.8
18 The Jungle Book 2016 Disney $364.0
19 Inside Out 2015 Disney/Pixar $356.5
20 Zootopia 2016 Disney $341.3
21 Alice in Wonderland 2010 $334.2
22 Guardians of the Galaxy 2014 Marvel $333.2
23 Thor: Ragnarok 2017 $315.1
24 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End 2007 Disney $309.4
25 Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl 2003 $305.4
Highest-grossing films worldwide
Rank Title Year Studio label Box office gross
(millions)
1 Star Wars: The Force Awakens 2015 Lucasfilm $2,068.2
2 Avengers: Infinity War 2018 Marvel $2.068.1
3 The Avengers 2012 $1,518.8
4 Avengers: Age of Ultron 2015 $1,405.4
5 Black Panther 2018 $1,345.5
6 Star Wars: The Last Jedi 2017 Lucasfilm $1,332.5
7 Frozen 2013 Disney $1,276.5
8 Beauty and the Beast 2017 $1,263.5
9 Iron Man 3 2013 Marvel $1,214.8
10 Captain America: Civil War 2016 $1,153.3
11 Toy Story 3 2010 Disney/Pixar $1,067.0
12 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest 2006 Disney $1,066.2
13 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story 2016 Lucasfilm $1,056.1
14 Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides 2011 Disney $1,045.7
15 Finding Dory 2016 Disney/Pixar $1,028.6
16 Alice in Wonderland 2010 Disney $1,025.5
17 Zootopia 2016 $1,023.8
18 The Lion King 1994 $968.5
19 The Jungle Book 2016 $966.6
20 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End 2007 $963.4
21 Finding Nemo 2003 Disney/Pixar $940.3
22 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 2017 Marvel $863.8
23 Inside Out 2015 Disney/Pixar $857.6
24 Thor: Ragnarok 2017 Marvel $854.0
25 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales 2017 Disney $794.6

—Includes theatrical reissue(s).

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Although GKIDS acquired the theatrical distribution rights to Studio Ghibli's films from Disney in 2014, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment continued to retain the home media distribution rights to 13 Ghibli films until 2017, with GKIDS acquiring the home media distribution rights to those 13 films as well.[70][71]

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit