There have been several ‘internet analyses’ in recent weeks as to whether Disney has actually lost money on most of its big tentpoles movies including even Marvel. Hollywood accounting is an arcane science best left to mob accountants and FBI agents. On paper, all movies lose money and figuring out whether movies that blow through billions on paper (and also make billions on paper) are losing or winning is a mug’s game.
There has been an estimated $900 million in summer losses after some movies just crashed and burned, but it takes a lot of forensic accounting and access to information few have to figure out the real numbers.
But CEO Bob Iger has made the case to Disney shareholders that profits and losses in Disney+ (which has been losing a ton of money) and even its movies don’t matter because the movies are really bulking up profits in its theme parks.
Which theme parks? (They’re not in Florida.)
Disney plans to nearly double its investments in its popular theme parks and cruise line, the company said in a securities filing Tuesday.
Why it matters: Profits from theme parks have helped offset Disney’s streaming losses for years.
Disney pointed out that strong historical investments in its intellectual property have helped to consistently grow revenues at its parks, experiences and resorts segment.
It highlighted the strength of its investments over the past 20 years in franchises such as “Star Wars,” “Toy Story” and “Cars.”
Disney’s parks, experiences and products revenues last quarter increased 13%, but that was mostly thanks to increased results at its international parks and resorts.
A decrease in attendance at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida last quarter, coupled with higher costs, resulted in lower operating income from the company’s domestic parks.
Disney is talking about selling off ABC. Iger is pitching Disney as a resort and theme park company that spends $30 billion on content to get foreigners to visit and stay. As business models go, this one is pretty bonkers.
But I’m sure once Disney brings Wakanda to life, the profits will be enormous.
Disney shares closed on Monday at $85. Their price was $197 in 2021.
Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, declined to specify how the company planned to spend the $60 billion. But he gave hints, noting that Disney movies like “Coco,” “Zootopia,” “Encanto” and others had not yet been incorporated into the company’s parks in meaningful ways.
“Imagine bringing Wakanda to life,” he said, referring to the fictional “Black Panther” kingdom.
Just imagine. They’ll really love that in Shanghai, Tokyo and Paris. Also Hong Kong.