Disney is a company that has never been afraid of spending the big bucks to get what they want. From their buyouts of Pixar ($7.5 billion), Marvel Entertainment ($4 billion) and Lucasfilm ($4.07 billion) Disney has never been shy about how deep their pockets are. Over the past 12 years, they’ve shown that they’re willing to spend massive sums of money when they have a plan for a franchise. And it’s paid off. With a combined $20 billion gross on these films’ ticket sales alone (not including merchandising revenues), Disney may have actually gotten a bargain with these companies. In sports, giving a max contract to a franchise player can mean the difference for a team, and that’s the idea that Disney is using when writing those massive cheques. Bob Iger and the Walt Disney Company realize that by nurturing a franchise, you can unlock untapped riches while also delivering great content.
And I haven't even touched on the massive, yet-to-be-completed deal with 21st Century Fox, which could (and already has) turned the industry on their head. For those still unaware, the proposed deal, which still has yet to officially go through, will see Disney paying a whopping $52.4 billion in stock in return for 20th Century Fox, FX, National Geographic and more networks (check out 21st Century Fox's official press release if you want to know that actual details). Perhaps even more pertinent to the mass audiences is the acquisition of superhero characters such as Wolverine and the X-Men to the already successful MCU. Now whether or not you think that this is good for the film industry (there have been words such as monopoly being thrown around, which I don't think is particularly undue), nobody can deny that Disney is making all the right moves for their business. 20 years ago, nobody in their right mind would predict that Disney would own half of the entertainment industry both on the big screen and small screen.