×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Disney CEO Bob Iger: ‘Captain America: Civil War’ Features ‘Some of the Best Marvel Storytelling to Date’

Disney CEO Bob Iger reported Thursday that the company’s stock had outperformed the stock market by more than four-fold over the last decade and promised the best is yet to come, with a string of attractive new offerings looming on the near horizon — from the April 1 release via digital streaming of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” to the June 16 opening of Disney’s new Shanghai theme park to the recent commissioning of two new Disney cruise ships.

Iger said the company’s strategy of focusing on unique intellectual properties and first-rate storytelling was powering it to record results across all its divisions. Another winning set of numbers: For the 10th consecutive quarter, the Walt Disney Company delivered double-digit growth in Earnings Per Share (EPS), which increased in February to $1.73 from $1.27 in the prior-year quarter. Overall shareholder returns for the last 10 years were 393%, Iger said, compared to 96% for the S&P 500.

In most categories and operating units, Disney jumped double digits on both the top and bottom line in its most recent quarter — including revenue, operating income, net income and free cash flow. The company’s studio entertainment unit saw revenue spike 46% to more than $2.7 billion, with cash flow up a whopping 86%, to more than $1 billion.

Iger has credited much of the recent boost to the “phenomenal” success of “Star Wars,” coming off the December release of “The Force Awakens,” the first episode in the Lucasfilm space opera to be produced since the company became a Disney subsidiary in 2012.

“Ten years ago, we set out to differentiate our company and to build a strong foundation of growth so that Disney will continue to be the preeminent entertainment company in the world for generations to come,” Iger said. “So, we continually strive to create long terms opportunities … to strive in a world where change is a constant.”

The company had few laggards, but one area of concern continued to be broadcast and cable television, where income declined in the single digits due to a dip in the number of subscribers, higher sports programming costs and unfavorable foreign currency translation impacts. Investors continued to voice concern about the future of ESPN, the sports cable juggernaut that recently has seen some slippage in subscriptions.

As he has in many of his public appearances over the last year, Iger on Thursday said the ESPN brand continues to be a power. He said that 200 million consumers connect to the sports network via one or more platforms each month, with 90 million per month receiving the sports network via their cable packages. “Those people consistently say it’s the most valuable channel in the lineup, and so do the cable companies,” Iger said.

Iger gave the audience in Chicago a look at several upcoming films in the Disney slate, including this week’s “Zootopia” and April’s “The Jungle Book.” Iger at first said “Zootopia” would become an “instant classic,” then reined himself in, saying he thought the animated tale would be a “classic” but didn’t want to put too much pressure on its performance.

Showing a clip of “Captain America: Civil War,” Iger said the Marvel film features “some of the best Marvel storytelling to date.” He also took a bow for the company’s Pixar and animation units, noting that the company’s animated films had won eight Academy Awards over the last decade, the most recent to “Inside Out” on Sunday, which won best animated feature.

Iger said the new cruise ships commission by Disney will be launched in 2021 and 2023. The CEO added that the company’s Imagineers are already “dreaming up way to make them our most spectacular yet.”

More to come.

More Film

  • Siberia Keanu Reeves

    Saban Films Turns 5: How the Indie Studio Grew While Rivals Faltered

    Saban Films doesn’t make the most noise. It doesn’t have the splashiest premieres or parties. But the indie film label just quietly did what many of its early rival failed to pull off. It celebrated its fifth anniversary at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. “We stuck to our plan,” Saban Films founder Bill Bromiley told [...]

  • Emanuel

    Film Review: 'Emanuel'

    Mass shootings continue to be a shameful stain on contemporary American history. They strike at such a frequent rate that the way they occupy news cycles before losing the public’s short-spanned attention has become appallingly routine. With his somber documentary “Emanuel,” released by Fathom Events in theaters for two nights only (June 17 and 19), [...]

  • Men in Black International

    Box Office: 'Men in Black: International,' 'Shaft' Add to Summer Sequel Slump

    As “Men in Black: International” and “Shaft” join the growing list of under-performing sequels this summer — an ignominious group that includes “Dark Phoenix” and “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” — worries of franchise fatigue are beginning to simmer in Hollywood. “Franchises that don’t up the ante or bring anything new into the fold are [...]

  • Song Ge

    Beijing Culture's Song Ge Urges Mainstream Directors to Toe Government Line

    The publicity-shy chief of Beijing Culture, which has backed such Chinese mega-hits as “Wolf Warrior II” and “The Wandering Earth,” openly urged film directors Monday to stick to material pleasing to the Chinese state, for the sake of their investors. “If you’re shooting an art house or smaller budget films, it’s no problem — say [...]

  • Iran presentation at Shanghai film festival

    Shanghai: China-Iran Heading Towards Co-Production Treaty

    “China has signed co-production agreements with 22 countries. Similar agreements between Iran and China are in the works, and will be signed by the end of this year,” said Miao Xiaotian, GM of the China Film Co-Production Corporation on Monday. Miao was speaking at the Shanghai International Film Festival, which is hosting a six-title Focus Iran section [...]

  • Roland Emmerich

    Shanghai: Roland Emmerich, Frant Gwo on China's Sci-fi Prospects

    Iconic Chinese and Hollywood directors Frant Gwo and Roland Emmerich did not take the stage together at the Shanghai International Film Festival, but on Monday they got the chance to praise each other’s movies and share insights into sci-fi. “I totally understand why it did well,” said “Independence Day” director Emmerich of Gwo’s recent “Wandering [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content