The Walt Disney Company (DIS) - NYSE
  • Tue, Feb. 2, 12:37 PM
    • After Walt Disney (DIS -1.7%) floated trial balloons last year over demand-based pricing at its theme parks, Universal Studios (CMCSA -1.6%) is becoming the first to fully launch the model, anticipating heavy crowds at the April 7 opening of its attraction "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter."
    • In Universal's case, visitors buying at the gate will still pay $95. But booking online for low-demand days can save park visitors up to $20. Discounts will still be smaller on weekends and peak demand periods.
    • The move can help Universal manage demand and comes with perks for customers: Those who book online can enter the Harry Potter area an hour before the rest of the park opens.
    • Harry Potter attractions have been a big revenue driver for Comcast, and no doubt Disney is watching closely: It may want to better manage demand for its "Star Wars" land when it opens in Anaheim.
    • Previously: Disney polls guests on demand-priced park ticket scheme (May. 28 2015)
    | Tue, Feb. 2, 12:37 PM | 5 Comments
  • Mon, Feb. 1, 2:12 PM
    • Kung Fu Panda 3 (DWA -7.5%, Fox distributing) was victorious at the weekend box office, dominating with a $41M domestic showing that easily surpassed holiday holdovers.
    • The Revenant (FOX -0.7%, FOXA -0.4%) drew $12.4M to bring its cumulative take to $138.2M, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (DIS -0.6%) edged Disney's newcomer, rescue film The Finest Hours, for third place with $10.8M.
    • The Force Awakens' seventh weekend brought its all-time best domestic total to $895.4M, and the film should cross $2B in total global gross by next weekend.
    • Kung Fu Panda's success helped the recovery of a box office hit by a winter storm last week. Overall grosses were up 30% Y/Y (though last year's comp was Super Bowl weekend).
    | Mon, Feb. 1, 2:12 PM | 5 Comments
  • Mon, Jan. 25, 3:38 PM
    | Mon, Jan. 25, 3:38 PM | 25 Comments
  • Mon, Jan. 25, 12:17 PM
    • Snowy film The Revenant (FOX -1.2%, FOXA -1.3%) led a box office weekend that was held down itself by a winter blizzard that crippled East Cost travel and dampened receipts.
    • The Leonardo DiCaprio film drew $16M to top Star Wars: The Force Awakens' $14.3M (DIS -0.9%) and the $12.97M of Ride Along 2 (CMCSA -1%).
    • Overall receipts fell 32% from last week -- and down 29% Y/Y -- to a total of $113M. Moviegoing was cut by up to 12% with some 400 locations affected by Winter Storm Jonas.
    • The week's best debut came from Dirty Grandpa (LGF -2.3%), starring Zac Efron and Robert De Niro, which grossed $11.5M.
    • The Force Awakens, meanwhile, pushed its record domestic gross to $880M ($120M better than No. 2 Avatar), and slowing worldwide grosses came to $1.94B, now about $247M behind all-time No. 2 Titanic.
    • Previously: 'Ride Along 2' unseats 'Star Wars' atop U.S. box office (Jan. 19 2016)
    | Mon, Jan. 25, 12:17 PM | 5 Comments
  • Wed, Jan. 20, 6:50 PM
    • Football is holding up its end of the bargain in winter TV ratings again, boosting NBC, CBS and ESPN.
    • College football's championship game on ESPN (DIS -1.5%) endured a slip in Nielsen ratings from last year, but its 25.67M viewers were good enough for third place in the Jan. 11-17 period.
    • That game was beaten in the week only by playoff football. NBC's (CMCSA -1.2%) broadcast of an NFC playoff game between Green Bay and Arizona was No. 1 with 33.73M viewers, and a CBS (CBS -3%) postgame show for the AFC's Pittsburgh-Denver game was second with 31.17M viewers.
    • Games, pregame and postgame shows made up seven of the top 10 shows, booting Fox Business' (FOX -3.1%, FOXA -2.7%) GOP debate to 11th place with 11.09M viewers.
    • Of non-football programs that broke the top 10, it was all CBS again: 60 Minutes (featuring Charlie Rose's interview with Sean Penn, and taking a lead-in from the Pittsburgh-Denver game) took the No. 6 spot with 20.62M viewers; The Big Bang Theory was seventh with 15.75M; and Madam Secretary was ninth with 11.87M.
    | Wed, Jan. 20, 6:50 PM | 4 Comments
  • Wed, Jan. 20, 2:49 PM
    • Star Wars: Episode VIII, the storyline follow-up to The Force Awakens, has gotten seven more months to work, as Walt Disney (DIS -1.8%) has delayed its release to Dec. 15, 2017.
    • The film had been set to open May 26, 2017, where it was expected to try to take share from a Terminator: Genisys sequel and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
    • Its new date puts it up against Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One (NYSE:TWX) -- though of course the further away the date, the fuzzier the exact release expectations.
    • Disney hasn't suggested that any troubles are contributing to the delay, pointing instead to the success of The Force Awakens' schedule: "In the popular holiday moviegoing corridor, it smashed numerous records, including biggest domestic and global debuts of all time as well as the biggest domestic second and third weekends, en route to becoming the highest grossing domestic release of all time with over $861M and the third biggest global release ever with $1.887B."
    • Episode VIII, directed by Rian Johnson, is scheduled to begin shooting next month in London. Johnson tweeted a video link to his feelings.
    • Updated 6:01 p.m.: Disney isn't leaving the May 26 date idle, moving Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales earlier from a previous July 7, 2017, date.
    | Wed, Jan. 20, 2:49 PM | 28 Comments
  • Tue, Jan. 19, 1:54 PM
    • Star Wars: The Force Awakens (DIS +0.2%) fell out of the top spot in U.S. box office in this, its fifth weekend of release -- yielding the lead to Ice Cube and Kevin Hart, as well as Leonardo DiCaprio.
    • In totals including the Martin Luther King Day holiday, Ride Along 2 (CMCSA +0.3%) drew $41.6M to lead U.S. grosses, followed by The Revenant (FOX +1.1%, FOXA +1.5%) with $39M. The Force Awakens was No. 3 with $32.6M.
    • Paramount (VIA +3.9%, VIAB +4.9%) held down the next two spots on the chart, with new film 13 Hours drawing $19.7M and Daddy's Home pulling $12M.
    • The Force Awakens shed theaters for the first time, but added to its all-time best domestic total, now $858.5M, and became just the fifth film ever to cross the $1B mark in international gross ($1.012B). Its worldwide total comes to $1.871B, good for the third all-time spot behind Titanic's $2.187B.
    • While Nomura estimates $230M to come for The Force Awakens in China (and Stifel laid in a high expectation of $450M), the movie was bumped from a large number of the country's screens to make room for home-grown films -- it's already lost its box office lead there to Boonie Bears 3 -- and may top out at $150M or even less.
    • While eyes were on China, the world's No. 2 film market where The Force Awakens crested $100M, it spent its fifth week at No. 1 in Japan with a cumulative total of more than $74M.
    | Tue, Jan. 19, 1:54 PM | 19 Comments
  • Fri, Jan. 15, 9:24 AM
    • Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) is down 4.1% premarket as fresh concerns emerge from Barclays in a downgrade to Underweight from Equal Weight.
    • Its worries about valuation compression point to the usual suspect -- ESPN -- but also a studio-business slowdown. Analyst Kannan Venkateshwar has lowered Disney's price target to $89, from $98. Shares closed yesterday at $99.11.
    • ESPN's model is especially hurt by subscriber losses, Venkateshwar argues, given its dependence on the bundle cross subsidy in pay TV. But the new doubt is cast on an atypical valuation area, the studio business.
    • The idea that franchise acquisitions alleviate risk to Disney's model is questionable, Venkateshwar says. Disney has seen little growth in the business over the past eight years aside from Frozen, despite the anchor franchises provided by Pixar, Lucasfilm and Marvel Studios.
    • At best, Barclays says, Disney should trade in line with peers with its major catalysts behind it, ESPN woes, balance sheet liabilities and the prospect of a transition in management ahead.
    • Previously: ESPN opens website's e-sports section, investing in coverage (Jan. 14 2016)
    • Previously: WSJ: Disney setting June 16 to open Shanghai park (Jan. 12 2016)
    | Fri, Jan. 15, 9:24 AM | 100 Comments
  • Tue, Jan. 12, 8:05 PM
    • With its deal with Netflix (NFLX +1.4%) expiring (alongside expirations with Hulu and station owner Tribune Media (TRCO +1.3%)), the CW Network (CBS +0.5%, TWX +2.1%) is even considering creating its own over-the-top streaming service, Bloomberg reports.
    • Going over-the-top is all the rage among ratings-challenged media networks now, and the CW's two co-owners are no strangers: CBS All Access launched in late 2014 offering live and on-demand shows, and Time Warner's HBO Now launched straight to viewers in time for last spring's Game of Thrones premiere.
    • The lineup of the expirations may make timing right for the CW, which is suffering about 13% lower prime-time ratings this year.
    • Similar to the CBS service, the CW could offer a live feed along with a library of on-demand content. Sources said such a direct-to-consumer play is inevitable for the network and prices discussed are around $2-$4/month.
    • Netflix currently has past seasons of CW programs while Hulu (CMCSA +0.3%, FOX +1.8%, FOXA +2.1%, DIS +1.5%) offers current seasons.
    • Previously: CW explores new streaming partners as Netflix deal expires (Jan. 11 2016)
    • Previously: Nexstar sets new long-term affiliate deal with the CW (Dec. 21 2015)
    | Tue, Jan. 12, 8:05 PM | 3 Comments
  • Tue, Jan. 12, 6:51 PM
    • ESPN (DIS +1.5%) absorbs a bit of a blow today, as its second national championship game in the College Football Playoff era shed viewers compared to last year.
    • The game (a 45-40 Alabama win over Clemson) averaged 25M viewers, a dip from last year's 33.6M viewers (which, to be fair, was a record cable telecast).
    • The network came in for some criticism after boldly sticking to a plan to run its national semifinal games (Alabama-Michigan State and Clemson-Oklahoma) on New Year's Eve, where they showed 34% and 44% ratings declines respectively.
    • Surprisingly, the title game drew fewer viewers than the college basketball championship final between Duke and Wisconsin (which pulled 28.3M viewers last spring).
    • The game did generate more than 2M tweets generating a unique audience of 9.7M Twitter users, ESPN said.
    | Tue, Jan. 12, 6:51 PM | 38 Comments
  • Tue, Jan. 12, 4:34 PM
    • After years of construction, Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) will open its $5.5B Shanghai Disney Resort on June 16, making a self-imposed first-half deadline, The Wall Street Journal reports.
    • The company had previously planned for a 2015 launch before ratcheting back expectations to the first half of 2016 amid significant construction, political and cultural challenges.
    • The announcement itself is a bit late but may reflect the hurdle of coordinating an announcement with China's officials, the WSJ says.
    • Major construction on attractions is near completion and 2,000 of 10,000 needed employees are hired, so hiring and training will likely dominate the next several months.
    • Disney shares gained 1.5% today; they're off 0.6% so far after hours.
    | Tue, Jan. 12, 4:34 PM | 19 Comments
  • Tue, Jan. 5, 8:18 PM
    • Starz (STRZA -1.4%) is the channel with the pay-TV rights to galaxy-buster Star Wars: The Force Awakens -- and on the cheap, according to The New York Post.
    • The channel is paying a bargain $17.5M for the rights, The Post reports, based on an expiring deal with Walt Disney (DIS -2%) that covered movies in theaters through 2015's end.
    • Disney has a new distribution deal with Netflix, who likely would have had to pay $40M for the rights, a source says. Starz, meanwhile, usually has to pay about $4M per hour of original programming.
    • Netflix does get to stream The Force Awakens -- in Canada, and will pick up later Star Wars films in America.
    • “The benefit to Starz is it’s a sleepy brand and it will stir some excitement," says Albert Fried's Rich Tullo. "It’s like having a Super Bowl to launch other programming.”
    • Previously: Disney -2.2% as Macquarie downgrades, Cowen sees tougher 2016 (Jan. 05 2016)
    | Tue, Jan. 5, 8:18 PM | 37 Comments
  • Tue, Jan. 5, 12:04 PM
    • Star Wars: The Force Awakens is set to pass Avatar and become the top domestic grossing movie of all time today -- but investing is an expectations game and sometimes historically good is not quite good enough, as Macquarie is downgrading Disney (DIS -2.2%) to Neutral and Cowen says goodness was already baked in.
    • While the film is currently charging through cash registers worldwide, Macquarie's Tim Nollen says its goodness and hype are already behind it, and the company's film slate and park potential (depending on Shanghai) are well known, leaving Disney to deal with lingering worries about cord-cutting at ESPN. He prefers CBS or Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) among media stocks.
    • Meanwhile, Cowen analysts are bumping estimates to account for Star Wars but note the market has sold the news, with Disney down 10% since the day before it came out. Not only is ESPN a lingering question, but "blockbuster saturation" makes for new film challenges as well.
    • While Cowen's Doug Creutz and Stephen Glagola expect solid hits in the coming year from Captain America: Civil War, Finding Dory and Star Wars spinoff Rogue One, "we are less convinced that other upcoming big-budget films such as Zootopia and Doctor Strange can maintain Disney’s hot streak at the box office given the competitive environment, and worry that studio earnings may be hitting an unsustainable peak."
    | Tue, Jan. 5, 12:04 PM | 78 Comments
  • Mon, Jan. 4, 3:51 PM
    • With Star Wars: The Force Awakens (DIS -2.2%) trucking toward Avatar's domestic box office record following a $90M weekend, there were still slimmer pickings for competitors who nonetheless pursued more holiday moviegoers.
    • Paramount's Daddy's Home (VIA -2.1%, VIAB -1.2%) held down the No. 2 spot for the second weekend and actually held a lot of its audience, dropping from a first-weekend $38.7M to $29.2M and adding up to $93.9M in its cumulative take.
    • Tina Fey/Amy Poehler comedy Sisters (CMCSA -1.1%) showed some strength in its third week as well, holding up with $12.8M for the No. 4 spot ($62.9M total), and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip (FOX -2.4%, FOXA -2.2%) drew $11.8M for the No. 5 position ($67.4M total). Meanwhile, Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight (Weinstein Co.) went wide at the No. 3 spot with $15.7M total.
    • Elsewhere, while U.S. theaters booked a record year of $11.01B, global box office hit a record $38B in 2015, Rentrak says, with China up nearly 50% Y/Y to $6.77B -- another data point setting up tough comps for 2016.
    • Previously: Exhibitor stocks whacked after 2016 U.S. box forecasts taken lower (Jan. 04 2016)
    | Mon, Jan. 4, 3:51 PM
  • Dec. 31, 2015, 4:05 PM
    • Hollywood has capped off a record year of just over $11B at the box office -- with a little help at the end from some Star Warriors -- and the spoils aren't evenly divided between studios, as Universal has pulled off a historic hit year.
    • A boost from Star Wars: The Force Awakens and its record-smashing performance pushed receipts past the $10.9B previous record, from 2013, by 1.5%. The $11B-plus was up 7.3% Y/Y.
    • With final numbers still coming in, admissions look flat, but higher ticket prices are providing a revenue boost.
    • Universal (CMCSA -0.4%) and Walt Disney (DIS -1.1%) drove the year with dominating performances, while Paramount (VIA +1.7%, VIAB +0.9%), Fox (FOX -0.4%, FOXA -0.4%), Sony (SNE -0.4%) and Lions Gate (LGF +0.1%) all declined Y/Y.
    • Universal's performance came from several of the year's biggest hits, notably Jurassic World, Furious 7, Minions, Pitch Perfect 2 and Fifty Shades of Grey. For its part, aside from an in-progress record push by Star Wars (about to surpass Jurassic World's domestic gross), Disney also put Avengers: Age of Ultron and Inside Out into the year's top five. Both of those drew more than $350M at home.
    • Moviegoers who crave more original screenplays may end up disappointed, if studios learn any lesson from this record year: Seven of the top 10 films were sequels and remakes, and the top two (Jurassic World and Star Wars) are from franchises dating to 1993 and 1977 respectively.
    | Dec. 31, 2015, 4:05 PM | 2 Comments
  • Dec. 30, 2015, 5:25 PM
    • Nielsen has awarded its TV series ratings crown for 2015, and football is still the king.
    • Sunday Night Football on NBC (CMCSA -1.5%) drew 23.3M viewers to top the charts among regularly scheduled series ahead of a pair of CBS (CBS -1.1%) shows. The Big Bang Theory and NCIS drew 21.1M viewers and 20.9M viewers respectively to take the next two spots for the Tiffany network.
    • A cable monster was fourth: The Walking Dead (AMCX -1.8%) pulled 19.7M viewers.
    • Unsurprisingly, football dominated the individual-show performances, marking nine of the top 10 programs (the uninvited guest was ABC's (DIS -0.7%) broadcast of the Oscars).
    • The rest of the top 10 series: No. 5, Empire on Fox (FOX -0.9%, FOXA -1%); No. 6, Thursday Night Football (CBS, NFL Network); No. 7, NCIS: New Orleans on CBS; No. 8, Sunday Night Fooball Pre-Kick on NBC; No. 9, Blue Bloods on CBS; and No. 10, Dancing with the Stars on ABC.
    | Dec. 30, 2015, 5:25 PM | 12 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