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Disney's Stability May Have Taken A Hit, But Could Rebound By Summer

Mar. 11, 2020 6:50 AM ETThe Walt Disney Company (DIS)18 Comments


  • Disney’s 2020 has gotten off to a rocky start with the sudden resignation of topper Bob Iger and continued last weekend with the under-performance of Pixar's “Onward”.
  • The film had the lowest opening debut in Pixar's history sparking fears that it was a sign of audiences being afraid to go to the movies due to COVID-19.
  • In reality “Onward” under-performing is a reflection more of the film and it not resonating with audiences.
  • Disney’s next film, its live-action remake of “Mulan,” is an even bigger gamble for the company, but early reports are suggesting it could be a sleeper surprise.
  • Regardless, the studio has a summer roster that should prove to be a stabilizing force as Disney looks to rebuild the momentum it built over last year.

(Image Credit: Disney/Pixar)

Disney’s (NYSE:NYSE:DIS) had an interesting 2020 so far.

Although granted for how well its 2019 went, you’d think there was a ceiling even for a company known for its own brand of magic. Truthfully, nothing can continually sustain such a high level of success for so long, eventually, things come back to Earth. Now that’s not to say 2020 won’t end up being a banner year for the house of Mouse, but it’s going to take some time for it to go onwards and upwards.

Granted “onward” may be a trigger word at Disney this week as the company’s latest entry from its Pixar division did not have a good week.

Like a "worst opening for any Pixar movie thus far" type of week.

A film that was projected to land in the $45 million to $65 million range, the animated family flick fell just short of $40 million ($39 million). That takes it below The Good Dinosaur which in 2015 found itself with $39.1 million over three days and $56.6 million over the full Thanksgiving frame. While Dinosaur was seen as Pixar’s first real flop, it definitely helps to exit your first week with padded numbers due to a holiday.

Of course that was by design.

Dinosaur was originally supposed to be a summer 2014 release until Disney realized it had a problem on its hands and decided to basically go back to the beginning. Onward didn’t have that type of luxury and Disney really didn’t do it a lot of favors with its release date.

For whatever reason, shareholders may have noticed (by this point) that Disney tends to have a “feast-or-famine” relationship with the spring season.

While it’s had big success with films like Zootopia and the live-action Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella,

This article was written by

A long time entertainment industry professional, I have worked with a number of top Hollywood studios and networks. With over a decade in the field I use my in-depth knowledge of film and television to inform potential investors about the viability of the many upcoming projects in the industry. Questions? E-mail me at TheEntertainmentOracle[at]gmail.com.

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