You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Black Panther’ Helps Disney Top Earnings Forecasts

The Walt Disney Co. on Tuesday announced earnings of $1.84 per share for its second fiscal quarter ending March 31, outperforming estimates in part on the strength of its theme parks and “Black Panther,” the box office and cultural juggernaut.

Disney reported revenues of $14.548 billion — $1.2 billion more than the same period last year. Every segment of Disney saw increased revenues, with the biggest gains in its studio, and parks and resorts. Revenues for studio entertainment rose 21% this quarter compared with the same period a year ago. Parks and resorts saw revenues rise 13%.

“Driven by strong results in our parks and resorts, and studio businesses, our Q2 performance reflects our continued ability to drive significant shareholder value,” Disney CEO and chairman Bob Iger, said in a statement following the earnings report. “Our ability to create extraordinary content like ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ and leverage it across all business units, the unique value proposition we’re creating for consumers with our DTC platforms, and our recent reorganization strengthen our confidence that we are very well positioned for future growth.”

Higher programming and marketing costs and lower ratings took a toll on operating income for the media networks group. ESPN’s results were affecting by a shift in the timing of college bowl games, with only one landing in the quarter this year compared to three last year. Nonetheless, ESPN’s earnings were hit by a decline in subscribers, Disney said. ABC had higher marketing and programming costs while the year-ago quarter included a contribution from off-network licensing of “How to Get Away With Murder.”

During an earnings call with analysts, Iger sounded jubilant over the record second quarter, which once again saw strong growth in its parks and resorts business. But it was “Black Panther” that dominated the conversation around the film studio’s performance, which has cemented Disney as the top Hollywood studio with fewer than a dozen releases per year.

The Ryan Coogler-directed feature starring Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther “makes a very loud statement about the virtues of risk taking and the value of inclusion,” Iger said.

Disney’s box office dominance is expected to continue for the rest of 2018. “Avengers: Infinity War” has become the fastest title to cross $1 billion at the global box office, although those results were not reflected in Disney’s second fiscal quarter. Later in May, Lucasfilm will release “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” which early tracking estimates predict will open to $170 million in its first weekend.

“It’s hard to come up with enough superlatives,” Iger said. “Our studio has and will continue to raise the bar.”

Parks and resorts also saw revenues grow by double-digit percentages year over year, thanks increased guest attendance at Disneyland Paris. Iger said Tuesday that Disney sees opportunity to expand in China. “There may also be opportunity in other parts of the world,” Iger added. “We are constantly engaging in conversations from people in different markets.”

Future growth at theme parks, Iger said, will depend in part on the popularity of its brands. “The more popular our IP, the more in demand it is at our parks,” he said.

Thomson Reuters consensus estimates called for $1.69 in earnings per share on $14.08 billion in revenue. It’s the first earnings report since the Disney-Marvel title has become one of the highest grossing films of all time. It comes as Disney faces a number of headwinds, including the continued shedding of cable subscribers afflicting its cable and networks division.

The company is also awaiting regulatory approval of its proposed $52 billion all-stock bid for Fox television and film assets. Disney has also just launched its ESPN+ streaming platform, a $4.99 subscription service. Also looming is the reported interest by Comcast to spark a bidding war for Fox, which could throw a massive wrench into Disney’s plans to compete with Netflix.

The bid for Fox was a way to acquire a massive library that would augment Disney film and television offerings that already include Pixar, Lucasfilm, and Marvel.

Disney shares jumped .50% in after-hours trading to $102.30 after closing at $101.79.

More Biz

  • IWC Schaffhausen store opening, Rodeo Drive,

    8 Luxury Gifts That Industry Leaders Are Spending Their Paychecks On

    Whether you’re celebrating a new launch, a new business venture, or toasting to the end of another successful year, here are eight gift ideas to reward yourself — and to impress the company you keep. 1. Saint Laurent Perforated Leather Tote Bag If you work in the industry, you need a good bag, and you’ve [...]

  • best airlines ranked inflight entertainment

    Holiday Travel Survey Reveals Airlines With Best In-Flight Entertainment

    There are many ways to pass the time if you’re in the air, but for most people, settling in with a glass of wine and a movie is the preferred way to fly. But not all airlines share the same script when it comes to entertainment offerings. A new survey from the website, CableTV.com, ranked [...]

  • Ventana Sur Rocks with Sales, Mass

    Ventana Sur Rocks with Sales, Mass Attendance, Structural Growth

    BUENOS AIRES — Celebrating its 10th anniversary with a huge hike in attendance to over 4,000 accredited delegates, the 2018 Ventana Sur will go down in history on multiple counts: Sales and pick-ups on movies which combined social comment and entertainment value, increasingly the new foreign-language movie standard; new sections, led by a Proyecta co-production [...]

  • Jennifer Lawrence Harvey Weinstein

    Jennifer Lawrence Denies Harvey Weinstein's Claim in Latest Assault Lawsuit

    Harvey Weinstein was hit with a lawsuit Friday from an actress who claims he forcibly performed oral sex on her, repeatedly masturbated in front of her, and threatened to harm her career if she objected. The suit details that Weinstein claimed he was trying to help her and that he was the gateway to her dreams. [...]

  • Times Up Hollywood

    Time's Up Entertainment Announces New Industry Mentoring Initiative

    Time’s Up Entertainment, an affiliate of the Time’s Up coalition of women across industries working to improve workplace safety, has announced the “Who’s in the Room” industry mentoring initiative. The program’s goal is to increase the presence of people of color from diverse backgrounds in the entertainment industry’s executive ranks. Funded by a $500,000 grant from [...]

  • Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt in

    Paramount Inks Deal for Theme Park in South Korea

    Paramount Pictures has announced a deal to install a studio-branded theme park in an entertainment resort being developed in South Korea. The agreement was struck between Paramount and Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, which owns the Inspire Integrated Entertainment Resort in the South Korean city of Incheon. Mohegan has invested KRW 2.8 trillion ($2.4 billion) in [...]

  • Davan Maharaj Mel Gibson

    L.A. Times Publisher's Lawyer Was Accused of Extorting Mel Gibson

    The attorney who negotiated a $2.5 million exit package for L.A. Times publisher Davan Maharaj was previously accused of using secret recordings to extort actor Mel Gibson. Surreptitious recordings also figure in the Maharaj case. NPR reported on Wednesday that Maharaj taped Tronc chairman Michael Ferro. According to the report, Ferro was heard on the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content