�Jonathan Ferziger

▶ ▶ Dis­ney’s ac­qui­si­tion­i­si­tio strat­e­gys­trat is pay­ing off—to the detri­ment of its ri­vals ▶ ▶ “They seem to have a fin­ger on the pulse of what the pub­lic wants at a l level that I haven’t seen”

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agri agri­cul­ture,” says Danny Dan Danon, Is­rael’s United Nat Na­tions am­bas­sador. “Bu “But we also ex­pect some r rec­i­proc­ity.” Is­rael’s p pre­vi­ous am­bas­sador tweeted a thank-you after In­dia ab­stained on a UN Hu­man Rights Coun­cil vote last July con­demn­ing the coun­try for al­leged war crimes in the Gaza Strip. Kenya and Ethiopia—both cen­tral to Ne­tanyahu’s strat­egy to boost trade ties in Africa—ab­stained as well.

Some Arab states, tired of the Pales­tinian con­flict, want to buy Is­raeli cy­ber­se­cu­rity, agri­cul­tural, and wa­ter man­age­ment prod­ucts,cts, Ne­tanyahu told a con­fer­encece in Fe­bru­ary. Longer-term, pre­ses­sure on Is­rael is build­ing from Europe and the UN to stop build­ing the set­tle­ments, with back­ers launch­ing a cam­paign of boy­cotts and sanc­tions against Is­rael.

Ne­tanyahu may be cal­cu­lat­ing that the world has more to worry about than Jewish set­tle­ments on the West Bank, says Yo­ram Meital, chair­man of the Chaim Her­zog Cen­ter for Mid­dle East Stud­ies and Diplo­macy at Ben-gu­rion Univer­sity of the Negev. “As long as the eyes of the in­ter­na­tion­all com­mu­nity are on Is­lamic c State and on Syria,” he says, “he knows they’re not go­ing to twist his arm with the Pales­tinian card.”

The bot­tom line After quar­rel­ing with the White House, Ne­tanyahu is us­ing the coun­try’s high-tech in­dus­try to at­tract other cus­tomers and back­ers.

When Cap­tain Amer­ica bursts back onto the big screen on May 6, au­di­ences will likely be thrilled by his much an­tic­i­pated fight with Iron Man. The out­come of the bat­tle, how­ever, is a fore­gone con­clu­sion: Walt Dis­ney will emerge vic­to­ri­ous. Box-of­fice an­a­lysts say Cap­tain Amer­ica: Civil War— the eighth Mar­vel film from Dis­ney since it bought the com­pany in 2009 and the third Cap­tain Amer­ica film— could ri­val the big­gest hits in the fran­chise. The re­views are over­whelm­ingly pos­i­tive, and ad­vanced ticket sales have eclipsed those of other su­per­hero movies, con­found­ing naysay­ers who were warn­ing that movie­go­ers might be tir­ing of the genre.

The likely block­buster kicks off a po­ten­tially record-break­ing sum­mer for ticket sales and what an­a­lysts say could be Dis­ney’s best year at the movies in its his­tory. Dis­ney, with a 25 per­cent mar­ket share this year, is dom­i­nat­ing the film busi­ness to an un­prece­dented de­gree. In the first half, Dis­ney will have the No. 1 movie for 13 of those 26 weeks, pre­dicts Barton Crock­ett, an an­a­lyst at FBR Cap­i­tal Markets. “They will have the high­est share in a gen­er­a­tion, or


Dis­ney’s multi­bil­lion- dol­lar in­vest­ment in pro­duc­tion com­pa­nies since 2006 has come to fruition in 2016. The five film units could this year re­lease a record num­ber of movies that break $1 bil­lion in ticket sales. “We have talked for 25 years about the big six global en­ter­tain­ment com­pa­nies, [ but] maybe we are start­ing to see the strat­i­fi­ca­tion among them,” says Jonathan Kuntz, a film his­to­rian and pro­fes­sor at the UCLA School of The­ater, Film & Tele­vi­sion. “‘Su­per­ma­jors’ might be a good term for what Dis­ney, and maybe Com­cast and Time Warner, as­pire to be.”

For much of the 20th cen­tury, Dis­ney, Paramount, Sony Pic­tures, Warner Bros., Univer­sal Pic­tures, and 20th Cen­tury Fox dom­i­nated film pro­duc­tion and dis­tri­bu­tion glob­ally. But Dis­ney’s three ac­qui­si­tions, along with its two other la­bels, Walt Dis­ney An­i­ma­tion and Walt Dis­ney Pic­tures, has left it with some of the best fran­chises in Hol­ly­wood. That’s al­lowed the stu­dio to map out a com­bined film slate into 2020.

“That is the fu­ture for the next decade,” with Dis­ney and Warner Bros. hav­ing laid out su­per­hero movies and other se­quels, spinoffs, and re­boots

Ti­tanic* Star Wars: Episode I – The Phan­tom Men­ace* The Lord of the Rings: The Re­turn of the King* Pi­rates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest The Dark Knight* Avatar* Toy Story 3 Mar­vel’s The Avengers Frozen Iron Man 3

With $2.8 bil­lion at the box of­fice, the high­est-gross­ing film of all time

Alice in Won­der­land Pi­rates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Trans­form­ers: Dark of the Moon Harry Pot­ter and the Deathly Hal­lows: Part 2

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