Mouse has sold 125,000 pics through iTunes

Walt Disney CEO Robert Iger said the Mouse has sold 125,000 movies for about $1 million total since the studio put a handful of pics on iTunes less than a week ago. He predicts the venture will top $50 million easily for the full year.

“It’s just a beginning. But it makes a difference,” he told investors at the Goldman Sachs media conference in Gotham Tuesday.

Disney’s also streaming content on ABC.com. It hasn’t been as active moving its content to other platforms, noted Goldman analyst Anthony Noto.

Iger stressed the Apple deals are not exclusive “and certainly Steve Jobs understands that as a major shareholder of Disney.”

Asked what Jobs’ role at Disney is, Iger said he’s a board member and that he’s been to two board meetings.

“For me, he’s become a tremendous sounding board. To go to Apple and spend the day … (It’s) a great opportunity for me and the company. He’s a great … adviser, and I’m lucky to have him.”

(“Does that mean it’s becoming the Apple Broadcasting Company?” joked one investor in the audience.)

Addressing recent cuts at the studio, Iger noted that while the 1990s were a time of expansion and growth for Disney, the company is focused now on returns on its investments.

He said the studio movie executives in charge of live action, for instance, are compensated based on the internal rate of return on their slate.

He said the cuts lowered overhead costs by $100 million, as Disney makes only 10 pics a year. “It’s quality over quantity … We were making movies for the wrong reasons,” he said.

He sees fiscal 2007 buoyed by DVD releases of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” and “Cars.”

At ABC, he acknowledged the network could really use a new hit. “We would take one. Two would be great. Three, fantastic.”

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