×

Disney Earnings Top Projections Thanks to ‘Incredibles 2,’ Theme Parks

The box office success of “Incredibles 2” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” combined with the popularity of the Walt Disney Company’s theme parks, bolstered quarterly earnings at the Hollywood conglomerate.

Diluted earnings per share for the fourth quarter increased 37% to $1.55, while revenues climbed 12% to $14.3 billion. Net income also improved, jumping 33% to $2.3 billion and smashing Wall Street’s projections.

Analysts had predicted that Disney would post revenues of $13.7 billion and earnings of $1.33 cents per share. It’s a momentous time for the company behind Pixar, Lucasfilm, and Marvel. Disney is wrapping up its $71.3 billion purchase of much of 21st Century Fox’s film and television assets — a pact that is expected to transform the media company into an entertainment leviathan with few equals. At the same time, Disney is preparing to launch a streaming service in late 2019, which it hopes will one day rival Netflix and enable it to connect to cord-cutting consumers who are ditching cable for digital video. To that end, Disney has been winding down its licensing deals as it prepares to debut its service with some of the biggest franchises in its film and television arsenal.

On a call with analysts, Disney chairman Bob Iger didn’t say how the company would integrate Fox, but praised its various divisions and pledged to invest in bolstering properties such as FX and Fox Searchlight. The Disney chief also said he was excited about bringing signature Fox franchises such as “Planet of the Apes,” “Avatar,” and “Kingsman” into the fold.

Iger said the new streaming service will be dubbed Disney+.

“In this era of unprecedented consumer choice, brands matter more than ever,” he said.

Disney’s cable and broadcast arm saw sales climb 9% to nearly $6 billion, while operating income increased 4% to $1.5 billion. Disney’s parks and resorts revenue hit $5.1 billion for the quarter, a 9% improvement that it ascribed to stronger attendance at its Hong Kong and Paris locations. Operating income for the segment jumped 11% to $829 million. Disney’s film studio put up revenue of $2.1 billion, nearly doubling the prior-year quarter, while operating income rose $378 million to $596 million. The studio benefited from summer blockbusters such as “Incredibles 2” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” two of the bigger hits of popcorn season.

It wasn’t all good news for Disney. The company invested $400 million in Vice Media, with the hope of reaching its millennial-skewing audience. Instead, buried in the fine print was the news that Disney is writing off $157 million of its investment.

More Biz

  • How Deborah Dugan Sealed Her Fate

    How Deborah Dugan Sealed Her Fate at the Recording Academy

    Deborah Dugan’s ouster from the top job at the Recording Academy, just ten days before the Grammy Awards, was a shock to nearly everyone not directly involved in the decision. But according to multiple sources and the bombshell complaint her attorneys filed on Tuesday, she and the Academy establishment were working at cross purposes almost [...]

  • The Crown Season 3 Oliva Colman

    Record Intl. Growth Sees Netflix Beat Q4 Earnings Forecast

    Fast growth in international markets, contrasting with only sluggish subscriber gains in North America, was a major factor behind streaming giant Netflix’s better than forecast growth in the last quarter of 2019. The company is set on keeping up that international momentum. Globally Netflix added 8.76 million new customers in the three months to December [...]

  • Harvey WeinsteinHarvey Weinstein court hearing, New

    Weinstein Trial: Everything We Know About the Three Supporting Witnesses

    The prosecution laid out its rape case against Harvey Weinstein on Wednesday morning, spelling out the allegations in detail for the first time. In her opening argument, Assistant District Attorney Meghan Hast also described the testimony of three “prior bad acts” witnesses. Such testimony was critical in the prosecution of comedian Bill Cosby, and it [...]

  • Donna Rotunno, Harvey WeinsteinHarvey Weinstein court

    Harvey Weinstein's Defense Focuses on Emails in Bid to Discredit Accusers

    Harvey Weinstein’s defense attorney showed jurors friendly emails between their client and his accusers in an opening statement on Wednesday, arguing that the accusers are trying to “have it both ways.” Attorney Damon Cheronis asked the jury to rely on their “God-given New York City common sense,” and to find that the women had consensual [...]

  • Mark Cuban Andrew Wallenstein Variety CES

    Listen: Mark Cuban Is Bullish on AI, 5G, TikTok and ... Movie Theaters!?

    As a serial entrepreneur with a taste for tech, Mark Cuban has built a multibillion-dollar career by trusting his well-developed instincts. So when he says it’s time to pay attention to any particular innovation, it’s best to listen up. On the latest episode of the “Strictly Business” podcast, recorded at CES earlier this month in [...]

  • Harvey WeinsteinHarvey Weinstein court hearing, New

    Harvey Weinstein Was a 'Predator and a Rapist,' D.A. Tells Jurors

    A prosecutor told jurors on Wednesday that Harvey Weinstein wielded his immense power in Hollywood to rape vulnerable young women and then to keep them silent. Assistant District Attorney Meghan Hast gave jurors a vivid recounting of multiple sexual assaults, including the story of Jessica Mann, a witness who has not previously been identified. She [...]

  • Ryan Tracey

    CAA Hires TV Agent Ryan Tracey (EXCLUSIVE)

    Creative Artists Agency (CAA) has hired Ryan Tracey as an agent in the television department, Variety has learned exclusively. Tracey comes to CAA from UTA, where he had most recently served as head of TV Production. He has represented an numerous television producers during his career, including Aida Rodgers, Kathy Ciric, Anna Dokoza, Ellen Kuras, Mark Winemaker, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content