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Why Disney Can Thank ‘Black Panther’ for a Great Second Quarter

Disney’s blockbuster hit Black Panther paved the way to success for the Burbank, Calif.-based company in its fiscal second quarter.

The popular superhero film helped Disney rake in earnings of $2.94 billion, or $1.84 a share, in the quarter ending Mar. 31, the company reported Tuesday. It was an increase of 23% from the same time period in 2017. Disney’s total revenue was up 9% from the same quarter last year, now at $14.5 billion.

Disney’s studio entertainment revenues topped out at $2.45 billion, up 21%, while its operating income increased 29% to $847 million.

“It’s clear from the recent results, as well as from the slate ahead, that our studio has and will continue to raise the bar in terms of both creative and commercial success,” CEO Bob Iger said on a conference call, the Los Angeles Times reported. “The incredible performance of Marvel’s Black Panther is just one of many examples.”

Black Panther, released Feb. 16 from director Ryan Coogler, dominated discussions in pop culture for weeks and earned nearly $1.5 billion at the box office worldwide. It led into Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War in April, which has already topped the $1 billion mark. Infinity War was not included in the second quarter earnings.

Disney also received a boost in the second quarter with home entertainment sales of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the Times reported. Another Star Wars film, Solo: A Star Wars Story, arrives in theaters later this month.