With the toon having charmed its way to nearly $1.3 billion at the worldwide box office, the film continues to generate strong sales from home entertainment and related merchandise at retail, which helped boost studio revenue 14% to $1.8 billion during the company’s third quarter and double profits to $411 million.
Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” which hauled in $713.6 million worldwide, and “Maleficent,” which actually earned more with $727.5 million during the quarter, were also key performers for the studio. But “Frozen” was the biggest revenue generator for the film division for the second quarter in a row, Disney said.
Overall, Disney saw profits rise 22% to $2.2 billion during the three-month period that ended June 30, on a 8% gain in revenue of $12.46 billion. It’s a record quarter for the company as every division at Disney reported gains, including the long struggling Disney Interactive group.
As diluted earnings per share during the frame increased 27% to $1.28, “we delivered the highest EPS in the companys history, and weve now generated greater EPS in the first three quarters of FY 2014 than we have in any previous full fiscal year.,” said Walt Disney Co. chairman and CEO Bob Iger in a statement to discuss the results. “Our strategy of building strong brands and franchises continues to create great value across our company.”
“Frozen” also helped prop up the consumer products division by 16%, reporting $902 million in sales, and a 25% gain in profits of $273 million, although merchandise tied to Disney Junior, “Planes,” “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” were also big sellers. A new line of “Frozen” merchandise is planned for the fall.
For its television business, soccer saved the day.
The timing of the FIFA World Cup helped Disney’s ESPN and ABC post stronger results, with soccer matches in Brazil helping attract record audiences for ESPN during what’s typically a slow period for networks during the summer.
Disney’s media networks, which typically account for 45% of the company’s revenue each year, saw sales increase 3% to $5.5 billion, again primarily from World Cup matches that began June 12. Profits were flat at $2.3 billion.
Disney’s theme parks and resorts enjoyed a 23% gain in profits of $848 million, on 8% uptick in sales of $3.98 billion as the Easter holiday fell later on the calendar and summer vacation season heated up. Ticket prices were also raised at parks on both coasts and on its cruise line.
The success of “Disney Infinity” also pushed Disney Interactive further into the black — for the fourth consecutive quarter — with sales increasing 45% to $266 million and the group posting a small profit of $29 million versus a loss of $58 million last year, as it focuses on core games and has slashed overhead.
“Disney Infinity 2.0” launches in September.