Nov. 28, 2014, 10:55 AM
- The teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens is being played at movie theaters across the U.S. this weekend for the first time.
- The Lucasfilm movie is slated to premiere on December 18, 2015 with a return of original stars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill.
- Most analysts expect Disney (NYSE:DIS) to generate close to $1.2B-$1.3B in global box office receipts and +$700M in profit. The tally moves higher if consumer products, video games, and streaming rights are all fully factored in.
- There's a vibrant debate on SA between Disney investors on how much of the Star Wars payoff is already baked into Disney trading at +$90 per share.
- Star Wars YouTube channel
Nov. 28, 2014, 9:11 AM
- Piper Jaffray identifies a few early winners from the extended Black Friday shopping period.
- The investment firm thinks strong traffic at toy stores and a reigned-in level of promotional activity bodes well for Hasbro (NASDAQ:HAS), Mattel (NASDAQ:MAT), and Jakks Pacific (NASDAQ:JAKK).
- Several shopping deal blogs have noted that early demand for Disney (NYSE:DIS) Frozen princess dolls has exceeded the lofty expectations set for the product.
- Channel checks at U.S. retail outlets by Piper also found strong demand at beauty specialty stores. Ultra Salon (NASDAQ:ULTA) and Coty (NYSE:COTY) are tapped as two Thanksgiving-Black Friday winners.
Nov. 24, 2014, 10:36 AM
- ESPN (NYSE:DIS) might stray outside the pay-TV bundle for the first time next year with a live streaming subscription service for the Cricket World Cup to be hosted in Australia and New Zealand, reports Re/code.
- In the past, Disney (DIS) typically used EPSN3 as a streaming add-on for pay-TV subscribers.
- Media analysts have speculated in the past that ESPN could peel off some of its programming into a PPV model.
Nov. 21, 2014, 11:12 AM
Nov. 21, 2014, 9:39 AM
- Theme park operators see the need to dramatically increase the use of videogame experiences at their parks in order to entice teenagers away from their Xbox and PlayStation environments.
- The concept of "immersion" will be added to many rides with 3-D backdrops, animatronics, and more chances to blast zombies.
- Related stocks: SIX, FUN, SEAS, DIS, CMCSA, PLAY.
Nov. 21, 2014, 7:41 AM
Nov. 18, 2014, 9:41 PM
- Nielsen (NYSE:NLSN) will begin tracking TV viewership on online subscription services in December, sources tell the WSJ.
- The technology used by Nielsen to derive the ratings measurements won't require any cooperation from streamers such as Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) or Amazon Prime (NASDAQ:AMZN).
- The development could help content owners compute the impact of licensing their programming and prevent them from having to negotiate in the dark.
- Related stocks: TWX, AMCX, CBS, CMCSA, DIS, FOXA, SNE, LGF, VIA, VIAB, RENT.
Nov. 16, 2014, 7:57 PM
- Interstellar had a strong second weekend at the box office, taking in $29.2M in the U.S. and $135.2M globally as positive word of mouth kept interest high.
- The Paramount (VIA, VIAB) film played in 64 territories.
- Universal's (NASDAQ:CMCSA) Dumb and Dumber To was the top film in the U.S. over the weekend with a $38.1M haul, despite the uncommon 20-year lag between the original and sequel.
- Though Big Hero 6 had another solid weekend in the U.S. with $36M, the bigger news for Disney (NYSE:DIS) is that its movie business passed $4B in annual global box office receipts for only the second time in history.
- The top 12 films in the U.S. earned an estimated $135M, up 13% from the corresponding week from a year ago.
- Movie exhibitor stocks: CKEC, CNK, RGC, MCS, RDI, AMC, IMAX.
Nov. 14, 2014, 2:49 PM| Nov. 14, 2014, 2:49 PM | Comment!
Nov. 14, 2014, 10:38 AM
- Dow Chemical (DOW +1%) says it "fundamentally disagrees" with the position outlined by Dan Loeb's Third Point hedge fund in its latest statement and new website, which the company says reflect the views of "an activist investor that has little interest in anything that benefits [Dow's] many long-term shareholders."
- Jim Cramer is now a fan of Dow, citing the company as an example of a buyback done right; combining Dow's $5B increase in its buyback plan with its total repurchase authorization totals ~17% of market cap.
- Cramer also sees buyback opportunities in FLEX, JACK, M, DIS, KMB, VIA, DPS and AZN.
Nov. 13, 2014, 8:46 PM
- Sony's (NYSE:SNE) new online TV package will price at $60 to $70 per month, estimates Re/code.
- It's a level that is twice what Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) plans to charge for a slimmer package, although one that includes ESPN.
- Programming on the Sony streaming service will feature shows from CBS, Discovery Communications, Fox, NBC, Scripps Networks, and Viacom.
- The pitch from the Japanese media giant is that cord-cutters will be drawn in by the captivating way of accessing the content through gaming consoles. A cutting-edge discovery and recommendations service for users is also highlighted by execs.
- Regulatory watch: Potential rule changes from the FCC could level the playing field for the new streamers as they work out their content deals.
- What to watch: A fragmented pay-TV landscape could benefit content producers (DISCA, CBS, FOXA, DIS, LGF, TWX, AMCX) in the short-term as competition heats up, while creating a pricing headache for cable/satellite/telco players (CMCSA, CVC, CHTR, DISH, T, DTV, VZ, TWC).
- The Netflix factor: Many media analysts consider Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) an add-on for consumers - instead of an either/or decision with online TV.
Nov. 11, 2014, 7:24 AM
- The FCC votes to uphold a previous ruling by its Media Bureau covering the access by third parties to pay-TV contracts.
- In-person access to the information will open up on November 17 unless programmers win a new court order.
- FCC statement (.pdf)
- Related stocks: DIS, CBS, AMCX, TWX, VIAB, SNI, FOXA, CMCSA, CRWN.
Nov. 10, 2014, 12:16 PM
- Disney's (DIS -0.8%) movie segment reported a $1.55B profit over the fiscal year which ended in September and heads into the next few fiscal years with a higher number of big-budget movies scheduled to be released.
- Walt Disney Studios has 21 films planned for the next three years - compared to the 13 it released over the previous three.
- Studio chief Alan Horn deserves credit for managing the movie business smoothly for the media giant while keeping the independent spirit of Marvel, Pixar, and Lucasfilm largely in place, notes the NYT.
- Disney tent-poles 2015-2016.
- Last week: Studio entertainment helps propel in FQ4
Nov. 9, 2014, 9:52 PM
- Disney Animation's (NYSE:DIS) Big Hero 6 took in an estimated $56.2M during its opening weekend in the U.S. to outpace the debut of Interstellar from Paramount (VIA, VIAB) which also appears to have crossed the $50M level.
- Interstellar's global box office haul was $130M spread across 63 territories, while Big Hero 6 played in 18 markets to $63.8M.
- IMAX (NYSE:IMAX) showings accounted for 25% of Interstellar's box office sales and the film is expected to remain a strong draw in the format up until the premiere of the next Hobbit movie on December 17.
- Big Hero 6 is also tapped to show some legs with no major animated feature due out until November 26.
Nov. 7, 2014, 1:20 PM
- With Disney (DIS -2.7%) having gone into earnings right at an all-time high of $92.00, the media giant is seeing some profit-taking following a slight FQ4 EPS beat.
- FY15 spending guidance is an area of concern for some analysts. CFO Jay Rasulo stated on the CC (transcript) Disney expects FY15 capex to be up $1.5B Y/Y ($1.1B on an adjusted basis) thanks to Shanghai Disney investments, and that cable programming costs are expected to rise by a low-teens percentage due to NFL and college football deals. Also, pension expenses and forex are expected to have a $225M impact on op. profit.
- Sell-side reactions to the FQ4 numbers are generally positive. BofA/Merrill (Buy): "Accelerating Parks, improving cap. returns, an improving Studio outlook, solid Media Networks and better Interactive all offer neat-term upside, while Disney Shanghai and Marvel/Pixar/Lucas film releases and full [retransmission] offer a solid FY15E/16E." The firm's FY15 and FY16 EPS estimates have respectively been hiked by $0.11 and $0.19.
- FQ4 results, details
Nov. 6, 2014, 9:33 PM
- Disney (NYSE:DIS) plans to release Toy Story 4 in June of 2017.
- Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, and director John Lasseter will all return to their roles, according to reports.
- The most recent Toy Story installment in 2010 raked in $415M in the U.S. and another $648M in international markets to rank it as the second-most successful animated feature of all-time behind only Frozen.
Walt Disney Co, together with its subsidiaries, is a diversified entertainment company with operations in five business segments: Media Networks, Parks and Resorts, Studio Entertainment, Consumer Products and Interactive.
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