The Walt Disney Company (DIS) - NYSE
  • Fri, Mar. 25, 3:05 PM
    • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice pushed to a one-day total of $27.7M in Thursday box office, adding to Warner Bros. (NYSE:TWX) hopes that it has a Furious 7-level hit on its hands and a good start to its own lucrative universe.
    • Furious 7 earned $15.8M for Universal on its pre-Easter Thursday last year, en route to a holiday weekend of $147M (and eventually a domestic total of $353M, fifth best for 2015).
    • Batman v Superman should do similarly this weekend. Fandango says the film is the fastest-selling superhero film in its history, outpacing The Dark Knight Rises and Avengers: Age of Ultron.
    • Working against the new film's longer-term prospects are a spate of negative reviews; aggregator Rotten Tomatoes has a 30% positive rating. That's inauspicious because aside from Batman and Superman, with follow-up films planned for DC characters Wonder Woman, Aquaman and more, Warner has high hopes to duplicate the multibillion-dollar success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe at Disney (NYSE:DIS).
    | Fri, Mar. 25, 3:05 PM | 67 Comments
  • Fri, Mar. 25, 9:40 AM
    • Consumer spending rose 2.4% in Q4, an upward revision from the 2.0% pace first reported by the Commerce Department (overall GDP was revised to 1.4% from 1.1%).
    • Spending on services provided the extra boost as low gasoline prices continue to help in certain categories.
    • Some analysts think a bit of a pure-play bet on consumer spending is the theme park sector which is just now ramping up for the busy season. Per-capita spending could improve this year for Six Flags (NYSE:SIX), Cedar Fair (NYSE:FUN), and SeaWorld Entertainment (NYSE:SEAS) after Disney (NYSE:DIS) raised the bar on ticket prices.
    | Fri, Mar. 25, 9:40 AM | 2 Comments
  • Tue, Mar. 22, 7:42 PM
    • Hoops added life to the usual strong lineup of dramas from CBS, lifting the network back to the top in broadcast ratings.
    • Buoyed by the NCAA basketball tournament -- it's broadcasting 21 games -- CBS averaged 7.7M prime-time viewers, ahead of NBC (NASDAQ:CMCSA) with 6.2M. ABC (NYSE:DIS) slotted in at No. 3 with 5.6M on average, and Fox (FOX, FOXA) fourth with 3.9M.
    • Among cable nets, Fox News Channel was again on top, with 2.57M prime-time viewers on average, followed by also-balling TBS and TNT (NYSE:TWX) with 2.13M and 1.97M respectively; HGTV (NASDAQ:SNI) with 1.74M and AMC (NASDAQ:AMCX) with 1.68M.
    • The week's top 10 programs again had a heavy CBS emphasis with five programs, led by NCIS at the very top with 15.1M viewers. NBC marked a Sunday hit with Steve Harvey's children-focused Little Big Shots (13.3M), settling in at No. 2 just ahead of AMC flagship The Walking Dead (12.69M).
    | Tue, Mar. 22, 7:42 PM | 2 Comments
  • Mon, Mar. 21, 10:08 AM
    • Lions Gate Entertainment (NYSE:LGF) is off 3.1% after Allegiant -- its latest hope for young-adult franchise success -- faded over the weekend in the face of Zootopia.
    • Expected to compete with Zootopia (NYSE:DIS) for the box office lead, Allegiant (the latest in the Divergent series) grossed $29M for the No. 2 spot. Zootopia's $38M gave it its third straight weekend on top.
    • Allegiant's flat weekend led Stifel Nicolaus to downgrade LGF shares, to Hold from Buy. The Divergent series has been heavily watched by investors looking to see whether Lions Gate will duplicate its successes from its Twilight and The Hunger Games film series. Last week, Macquarie had reduced its price target on Lions Gate to $31 (maintaining its Outperform rating); shares are trading currently at $21.92.
    • For its part, Zootopia has a cumulative domestic gross of $201.8M and a worldwide total of $591.7M.
    • Allegiant did outpace the other wide-release newcomer, Miracles from Heaven (NYSE:SNE), which fell into No. 3 with $15M, just ahead of 10 Cloverfield Lane (VIA, VIAB) with $12.5M and Deadpool (FOX, FOXA) with $8M in its sixth week.
    | Mon, Mar. 21, 10:08 AM | 4 Comments
  • Thu, Mar. 17, 10:46 AM
    • Powerful movie directors are taking sides in the debate over the new $50 at-home movie service being proposed by Sean Parker.
    • Yesterday, James Cameron and Christopher Nolan slammed the concept in a tag team attack, noting The Screening Room could fundamentally alter movie viewing habits
    • There was some surprise in Hollywood when reports came out earlier indicating that Peter Jackson, J.J. Abrams, and Steven Spielberg support the venture. Double that surprise level off the word that some of them may be shareholders.
    • Though The Screening Room's model calls for the service to share revenue with movie theater chains, exhibitors are seen as having the most to lose by losing their exclusivity edge. Studios are also on edge as the possibility exists that The Screening Room picks a particular platform or content partner.
    • SA contributor The Entertainment Oracle is out ahead of the development with a breakdown of who might win and lose if The Screening Room takes off.
    • Previously: New startup aims to stream first-run movies (Mar. 09 2016)
    • Related movie theater and studio stocks: AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC), Cinemark Holdings (NYSE:CNK), Regal Entertainment (NYSE:RGC), Carmike Cinemas (NASDAQ:CKEC), Reading International (NASDAQ:RDI), Marcus Corp (NYSE:MCS), IMAX (NYSE:IMAX), Paramount (VIA, VIAB), Lions Gate Entertainment (NYSE:LGF), Sony Entertainment (NYSE:SNE), Disney (NYSE:DIS), Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA).
    | Thu, Mar. 17, 10:46 AM | 8 Comments
  • Tue, Mar. 15, 6:14 PM
    • Walt Disney (DIS -0.6%) is the beneficiary of bullish sentiment from Piper Jaffray, which is pointing to animation success Zootopia as reinforcement for its thesis.
    • The firm's analyst Stan Meyers has reiterated Piper's Overweight rating and $120 price target, 22% upside from today's close of $98.22.
    • Zootopia crested the $400M worldwide box-office mark this week and has benefited from strong positive audience reaction; it received an "A-" from audience rater CinemaScore and is currently "99% fresh" on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.
    • The film is "outperforming expectations by 50-60% and supporting our thesis that Disney's film slate (combined with consumer products and theme parks) will drive the overall performance at an accelerated pace over the next three years," Meyers writes.
    • Content strength leads to strong merchandise sales, including fashion at Forever 21, Meyers notes. "Based on our channel checks, merchandise (apparel in particular) is selling out quickly with dresses already out of stock, boding well for the Consumer Products segment."
    • Previously: 'Zootopia' again a box-office animal, crossing $400M worldwide (Mar. 14 2016)
    • Previously: 'Zootopia' leads box office with record Disney Animation opening (Mar. 07 2016)
    | Tue, Mar. 15, 6:14 PM | 8 Comments
  • Tue, Mar. 15, 4:06 PM
    • Director Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford are teaming up on a fifth "Indiana Jones" movie, Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) says. (So much for the 73-year-old Ford slowing down.)
    • "Indiana Jones is one of the greatest heroes in cinematic history and we can’t wait to bring him back to the screen in 2019,” says Disney's Alan Horn.
    • It comes despite mixed reviews for the fourth entry in the series, 2008's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which nonetheless grossed $787M worldwide and $317M domestically.
    • It's the first one in the series to be made by Disney, which bought distribution rights from Paramount (VIA, VIAB) in 2013 (which itself followed Disney's purchase of Indiana Jones production company LucasFilm in 2012).
    | Tue, Mar. 15, 4:06 PM | 33 Comments
  • Mon, Mar. 14, 3:14 PM
    • Zootopia (DIS +1%) ruled for a second weekend at the box office, drawing $50M to outpace a strong debut from a more suspenseful new release.
    • The Disney record-setter held a strong chunk of its opening-week audience and even increased its international take, thanks to substantial grosses from China. It's made $142.6M domestically and a worldwide total of $431.3M so far.
    • 10 Cloverfield Lane (VIA +1.9%, VIAB +1.6%) -- the secretly made spiritual sequel to J.J. Abrams' monster film Cloverfield -- grossed $25.2M to mark the best performance among new releases.
    • Deadpool (FOX, FOXA -0.3%) chugged along at No. 3 with $10.8M in its fifth week. The film's now settling in as the second-highest grossing R-rated release in worlwide numbers, and No. 3 all-time domestically.
    • Meanwhile, The Brothers Grimsby (SNE -0.1%) -- the latest from English comedian Sacha Baron Cohen -- flopped with just $3.2M in a 2,235-screen opening, good enough for the eighth-best film of the weekend.
    | Mon, Mar. 14, 3:14 PM | 19 Comments
  • Tue, Mar. 8, 7:11 PM
    • Disney (DIS -1.5%) chief Bob Iger talked Shanghai, and gave a lot of air to much-discussed worries about ESPN, at the Deutsche Bank conference this evening in Florida.
    • The company's Shanghai theme park -- its second largest, but with the biggest castle -- is on schedule for its June 16 opening, already more than 90% finished, he says: "It makes a loud statement." A branded subway stop will help deliver 20,000 people per hour to the gates.
    • With regard to challenges at ESPN, Iger said there's still tremendous value in live sports that aren't a "niche" offering -- 95% of all pay-TV subscribers watch sports, he says, and more than 200M accessed content on various platforms during a recent month: "I believe in the brand value of ESPN,” even if it doesn't grow as quickly as it had in the past.
    • Competitors to the "Worldwide Leader in Sports" are far behind and likely losing money, he said.
    • There's still a challenge to crack the problem of younger viewers who are departing (or never signing up for) fat pay bundles. The company's not finished working on mobile issues, he says, and "some form of direct-to-consumer offering" of ESPN is being considered.
    • Iger also said drama The Finest Hours -- which has made just $27M domestically and $40.5M total worldwide after five weeks of release, against a production budget reported to be $70M-$80M -- will result in a $75M hit to operating income this quarter.
    • After hours: DIS -0.5%.
    | Tue, Mar. 8, 7:11 PM | 14 Comments
  • Mon, Mar. 7, 9:43 PM
    • Hong Kong Disneyland -- the joint venture in which Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) owns 47% -- has changed leadership amid recent losses stemming from tourism that dropped more than 9% Y/Y.
    • Andrew Kam resigned for personal reasons, the company said, and it has promoted Samuel Lau to managing director.
    • For its last fiscal year, revenues fell 7.3% (to HK$5.1B) and the theme park swung to a loss of HK$148M (about $19M) from a prior-year profit of HK$322M.
    | Mon, Mar. 7, 9:43 PM | 16 Comments
  • Mon, Mar. 7, 1:06 PM
    • The first March weekend is coming in like a lion (and fox, bunny, sloth) for Zootopia, which ousted Deadpool (FOX +1.3%, FOXA +1.4%) from a three-week stay atop domestic box-office charts.
    • The critically popular Zootopia set a record for Disney Animation Studios (DIS +1.2%) as its biggest opening with $73.7M -- yes, bigger than Frozen ($67.4M) -- and March's fourth-biggest opening ever. The film holds a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a CinemaScore (audience's exit ratings) of "A-." With an early global release, its worldwide total is up to $232.5M.
    • Deadpool fell to the No. 3 spot with $16.4M, behind another debut, London Has Fallen (CMCSA -0.6%) with $21.7M. But Deadpool built its strong domestic cumulative total to $311.1M, and $673.2M overall worldwide (No. 2 all time among R-rated films).
    • The week's other high-profile opening -- Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (VIA +5.3%, VIAB +3.5%) with Tina Fey -- drew just $7.6M to end up No. 4, in line or a little behind projections.
    | Mon, Mar. 7, 1:06 PM | 11 Comments
  • Thu, Mar. 3, 8:16 PM
    • Along with Piper Jaffray's upgrade this morning, investors in Disney (DIS +1.9%) got some extra bullishness from Credit Suisse and its analyst Omar Sheikh.
    • Any deceleration at ESPN -- very much the topic among Disney bears -- can be offset by strength in the company's other areas, along with some defensive sports-channel strategies, Sheikh argues. He's reiterated the firm's Outperform rating, with a price target of $130 (31.6% upside from today's close of $98.79).
    • Piper Jaffray had set its price target to $120.
    • While everyone accepts that ESPN growth will slow, Sheikh says: “First, DIS can reduce the likely significant usage of shared passwords for WatchESPN, where probably several million users consume the content without paying for it. Second, DIS can use its rights portfolio to create an unbundled product either with niche content aimed at "super-fans"; or for a fuller bundle of content to serve the casual sports fan."
    • Late in the morning in Chicago, during an otherwise routine annual meeting, Disney gave previews of an imposing film slate ahead, set an April 1 date to bring Star Wars: The Force Awakens to home entertainment windows, and said it was expanding its cruise line by two massive ships.
    • Previously: Disney meeting: 'Star Wars' in-home plans; cruise expansion (Mar. 03 2016)
    • Previously: On verge of meeting, Disney +1% as Piper upgrades (Mar. 03 2016)
    | Thu, Mar. 3, 8:16 PM | 19 Comments
  • Thu, Mar. 3, 12:12 PM
    • At the Walt Disney (DIS +0.9%) annual meeting in Chicago, along with the usual early teaser footage provided to shareholders in attendance, CEO Bob Iger brought news that all-time domestic box-office champ Star Wars: The Force Awakens would hit home-entertainment windows on April 1 (for digital download; discs coming April 5).
    • The film is still on 1,433 screens after opening on more than 4,000 in mid-December. Last weekend the film fell out of the weekly top 10, but grossed another $3M to bring its domestic total to $925.99M.
    • Iger took time to celebrate not only Star Wars success but point to an imposing film slate ahead: Zootopia (opening this weekend), Alice Through the Looking Glass, The Jungle Book, Captain America: Civil War and Finding Dory.
    • Iger also said that Disney would be expanding its cruise line by two ships, to be added in 2021 and 2023, via a memorandum of understanding set with a German shipyard.
    • Shareholders approved four board-supported proposals, including board elections, executive compensation and accountants, and two shareholder proposals failed, including one that called for allowing investors to support changes via a simple majority.
    • Previously: On verge of meeting, Disney +1% as Piper upgrades (Mar. 03 2016)
    | Thu, Mar. 3, 12:12 PM | 14 Comments
  • Thu, Mar. 3, 10:51 AM
    • Ahead of its annual general meeting, Disney (NYSE:DIS) is up 1% as Piper Jaffray has upgraded the stock and raised its price target to the elusive $120 range.
    • That target's lifted from the firm's previous $105, and at the level Disney has twice tested in the past year before falling back. The firm's moved its rating to Overweight, from Neutral.
    • More than worried about ESPN, Piper's Stan Meyers is bullish on the film slate (24 titles coming in three years), which could drive a compound annualized growth rate of 12.6%.
    • He sees the firm's newly combined consumer products and interactive group becoming the company's second-fastest growing segment, a product of the firm's tentpole film approached combined with innovative toys and improved coordination in marketing with manufacturers and retailers.
    • The theme parks business is becoming "a lot more attractive," he says, and even at ESPN, he expects growth in fees/subscriber will outpace subscriber declines.
    | Thu, Mar. 3, 10:51 AM | 14 Comments
  • Wed, Mar. 2, 6:35 PM
    • In the wake of Walt Disney's (DIS -0.6%) move to shift its theme park admissions to dynamic pricing, JPMorgan's Alexia Quadrani is even more encouraged by possible upside in its Parks business.
    • Margins have been expanding but have further to go, she suggests: "We believe the parks also have the potential to continue expanding margins following ~200bps of expansion in F2015, and we look for ~150bps expansion in F2016 at the domestic parks."
    • The firm has an Overweight rating on shares and trimmed its price target slightly last month, to $118. With today's price at $97.05, the target implies 21.6% upside.
    • Price increases for "peak" tickets -- to as much as $119/day at Disneyland, and $124 at Disney World's Magic Kingdom -- "are not likely to lessen demand" and could help control overcrowding, Quadrani writes.
    • Previously: Disney moves to seasonal ticket pricing strategy (Feb. 29 2016)
    • Previously: Disney polls guests on demand-priced park ticket scheme (May. 28 2015)
    | Wed, Mar. 2, 6:35 PM | 12 Comments
  • Wed, Mar. 2, 1:55 PM
    • Walt Disney (DIS -0.8%) today launches its TV channels -- including ABC TV, ESPN, and Disney-branded channels as well as smaller networks including Fusion and the Longhorn Network -- on the streaming PlayStation Vue (SNE +2%) service.
    • The two had originally set the partnership in November without a launch date, and that deal followed months of negotiations where Disney's programming had been a glaring exception on the service.
    • Vue had launched last March offering some 50 channels for about $50/month, but along with the Disney launch, Sony's hoping to draw more viewers by lowering its base price for all subscribers to $40/month.
    • Sony hasn't provided viewership numbers. The Vue service is still available in just seven cities.
    • Previously: After months of dealing, Disney networks joining PlayStation Vue service (Nov. 05 2015)
    | Wed, Mar. 2, 1:55 PM | 3 Comments
Company Description
The Walt Disney Co. together with its subsidiaries and affiliates is a diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise. It operates through five business segments: Media Networks, Parks & Resorts, Studio Entertainment, Consumer Products and Interactive Media. The Media... More
Sector: Services
Industry: Entertainment - Diversified
Country: United States