Disney Gets ‘Black Panther’ Boost, But TV Business Falls Flat

Disney Gets ‘Black Panther’ Boost, But TV Business Falls Flat

There’s greater than vibranium to be mined within the legendary nation of Wakanda.

Walt Disney Co.’s “Black Panther” helped the corporate’s second-quarter earnings sail previous Wall Street estimates on Tuesday. The movie, which turned a cultural phenomenon after its launch in February, generated greater than $1.three billion in worldwide ticket gross sales for the Burbank, California-based studio.

The film, the primary main superhero movie with a majority black forged, shattered business myths and made a “very loud statement about the importance of risk-taking and the value of inclusion,” Disney Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger mentioned on a convention name Tuesday.

The movie’s surprisingly robust efficiency helped offset a tv enterprise that’s affected by an industrywide decline in pay-TV viewership. Disney’s earnings additionally had been bolstered by its theme parks, which noticed attendance climb in a seasonally gradual quarter. Higher ticket costs and new points of interest — along with an early Easter vacation — helped gas that enterprise.

Disney’s general earnings superior to $1.84 a share, excluding some objects, forward of the $1.70 common estimate compiled by Bloomberg. Sales rose to $14.5 billion, in contrast with projections of $14.1 billion.

TV Troubles

In the TV enterprise, Disney’s outlook isn’t as shiny. Viewers are persevering with to chop the twine, contributing to a four p.c revenue decline for the corporate’s cable division. Cable income had been additionally crimped by the inclusion of the now majority-owned streaming service BamTech and a shift of school bowl video games. Earnings on the ABC broadcast enterprise had been flat.

The tepid TV outcomes weighed on Disney’s shares in late buying and selling. They declined as a lot as 1.eight p.c to $100.

The firm has been taking steps to arrange itself for the way forward for TV, together with launching ESPN+, a $5-a-month on-line TV service launched in April. On Tuesday, Disney introduced a deal to stream Ultimate Fighting Championship matches on the brand new service.

Still, a lot of Disney’s leisure technique is up within the air. It seems to be to shore up its TV and film belongings by buying an enormous swath of 21st Century Fox Inc. for about $52 billion in inventory. But Comcast Corp., the biggest U.S. cable firm, is contemplating making its personal bid for that enterprise, an individual with data of the scenario said this week.

Sky Standoff

Comcast is also attempting to accumulate European satellite-TV operator Sky Plc — a enterprise that each Fox and Disney need to personal. The scenario is establishing a world standoff between the world’s greatest media giants — and doubtlessly irritating Iger’s technique to make Disney extra of a direct-to-consumer media enterprise.

The government mentioned on Tuesday that he was assured the Disney-Fox deal would go ahead.

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