Morgan Stanley thinks the new 'Star Wars' will make $1.95 billion at the box office - and this guess might be too low

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Morgan Stanley is out with a note on Disney wondering about what kind of numbers the new "Star Wars" movie will do at the box office.

The firm puts its "base case" on what "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" will bring in at $1.95 billion, up from $1.6 billion previously.

But this estimate might be too low; and the firm knows it.
In a note to clients on Wednesday titled, "Are We Bullish Enough on Star Wars?" Morgan Stanley's Benjamin Swinburne raises the firm's outlook for what the 7th installment of the "Star Wars" will bring in at the box office.

Morgan Stanley's "base case" breakdown assumes $650 million in US box office take and $1.3 billion internationally.

This would make the new "Star Wars" the 3rd highest grossing title of all-time. "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" is set for release on December 18, 2015.

And while part of what factors into the firm's outlook for "Star Wars" is the increased international box office receipts from mega-hits like "Furious 7," the unbelievable performance of "Jurassic World" in the last few weeks sort of makes you think the firm may not, in fact, be bullish enough on "Star Wars."

When we threw out this number on Twitter, folks including CNBC's Carl Quintanilla and RW Baird's Michael Antonelli were quick to jump on this idea. And what's more, back at the end of 2014, we highlighted what moviegoers saw as the most anticipated films of 2015.

The new "Star Wars" was #1, Jurassic World - the $1 billion box office powerhouse - was just #5.

Morgan Stanley does, however, see a scenario in which Star Wars brings in $2.25 billion, with $750 million coming in domestically and $1.5 billion coming from international theaters. This would make it the second-biggest box office hit of all-time behind on "Avatar," which brought in $2.79 billion.

Overall, Morgan Stanley's maintains an "Equal-Weight" outlook on Disney shares as the stock is now at a 6-year premium to its peers (meaning shares are more expensive relative to other media companies than they've been since 2009), and the company continues to see pressure in advertising revenue from its ESPN segment.

But even so, Morgan Stanley thinks the new "Star Wars" will be a "wildly profitable" film for the company.

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