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WIRE Buzz: Disney shatters global box office record, Fortnite champ makes millions, more
Today’s WIRE Buzz is about money, money, money. Earning it at the box office or by winning competitions, spending it on endless movie tickets — whichever way you come down in the entertainment world, the bottom line is still driving how fans interact with the industry.
First up is the heaviest hitter in the business: Disney. The company, which recently saw Avengers: Endgame pass Avatar as the highest-grossing movie ever, has now broken a new record ... that was once held by Disney. According to Variety, the company (which owns more than 40% of the film market ... yikes) has already shattered the record for global ticket sales by a single studio in a year. And it's only July.
This weekend saw the House of Mouse hit the $7.67 billion mark, beating out its 2016 record of $7.61 billion. Billion. And there’s almost half a year left to milk that number, with films like Frozen 2 and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker sure to crush expectations.
That makes the record seem like the tip of the iceberg, especially considering that the company seems to have cracked the code to the international box office as well, becoming the first studio to crest the $5 billion mark outside the U.S. Future years may not offer up the end of the MCU’s first arc and the Skywalker saga, but with Disney still in charge of most pop culture franchises, fans should only expect these numbers to stay steady.
Next, someone else is pulling down top dollar — this time for the biggest video game in the world. Battle royale shooter Fortnite has a new world champion: 16-year-old American Kyle "Bugha" Giersdorf.
Giersdorf was the top point-scoring competitor in the six matches of Sunday’s 100-person final, during which he scored 59 points, according to IGN. This, derived not only from survival placement (how long you stay alive) but from kills and damage inflicted on opponents, almost doubled the total of his closest rival. Now the winner has bragging rights, a trophy, and $3 million in cash.
Take a look:
Now if only the women’s professional soccer team won as much for their World Cup victory earlier this year. At any rate, the U.S. can add a new trophy to its case this year — and add an eSports section to the accolades.
Finally, those who miss (or got burned by) MoviePass might fill the cinema-subscription-sized hole in their lives thanks to a new endeavor from Regal. The massive theater chain has launched its unlimited subscription option, which will now allow moviegoers to see as many standard-format movies as they want, with plans ranging from $18 to $23.50 a month, according to a release.
The price differences correlate to the number of theaters available under the plan, but all come with a 10% discount on concession items — which movie fans should know is already a deal. The only additional charges seem to be associated with upgrading to films shown in 3-D or IMAX, or when ordering tickets online. Otherwise, subscribers can simply show up and grab a ticket to as many movies as they want, as many times as they want.
“We are excited to debut our Regal Unlimited subscription plan. This is the program moviegoers have been craving — one that is truly unlimited,” said Ken Thewes, chief marketing officer at Regal, in a statement. Now that MoviePass is effectively dead (and the many plans that popped up after its decline all come with certain strings attached), Regal Unlimited seems like the next MoviePass promise ... although fans may understandably be skeptical at first, no matter how appealing it seems.
Regal Unlimited is now available through the Regal mobile app.