Movies are an important driver of shareholder value for media conglomerates like Time Warner (NYSE:TWX), News Corp. (NYSE:NWS), and Viacom (NYSE:VIA). Theatrical hits can positively affect related corporate holdings, such as interactive game divisions or cable TV assets.

It looks like a certain rodent named Mickey got lucky with his company's latest flick -- and may even have put in motion an interesting bit of synergy.

Vin Diesel successfully wowed the family crowd this past weekend with the new Disney (NYSE:DIS) motion picture, The Pacifier. According to, the film captured $30.5 million -- good for first position -- and had a budget of $56 million.

As a shareholder of the company, I was a bit disappointed to find out that the budget was as high as it was. It didn't strike me as the type of fare that required that much money, but then again I haven't seen the film. Perhaps there were a lot of expensive moments in it.

Whatever the reason, I would have favored smaller production costs (especially considering that the studio certainly spent millions more on marketing). Shareholders should also keep in mind that The Pacifier was made in conjunction with Spyglass Entertainment, which means that Disney presumably won't own all of the cash flow generated by the project. Disney has had a pretty good working relationship with Spyglass; this is the team that brought moviegoers such memorable pictures as The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable (although the latter was a relative box-office disappointment, it was a decent attempt at recapturing the allure of Sense).

I hope Vin Diesel's antics continue to keep moviegoers lining up at ticket counters to see The Pacifier in weeks to come. The film is going to have some stiff competition this weekend from Fox's (NYSE:FOX) Robots. (Come on, Vin, I know you can do it!). I'm not sure if this is a franchise in the making, but I hope the movie has legs strong enough to sustain it well past the $100 million mark. Disney has had some good outings recently with National Treasure and the Pixar (NASDAQ:PIXR) co-production The Incredibles, and I'd like to see some of this momentum continue for as long as possible. Generating good returns on movies (and thus good operating income from the studio segment) can be a challenging exercise -- and with the pending divorce between Eisner and the Weinstein brothers hanging over Burbank, each and every hit counts.

More Mousy moments:

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Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns shares of Disney. The Fool has a disclosure policy. To be honest, Steven has no intention of seeing this movie, but he does tell others that it looks like a blast!