Disney profit beats estimates on strength in parks business

Alicia Cross
February 8, 2018

Disney is also building Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at the Studios and a gondola transportation system that will take guests to several resorts, Epcot and the Studios.

Plus will be available as part of a revamped ESPN mobile app, Iger said, without providing a precise launch date.

ESPN has faced declining subscriber numbers and ad revenue. Notably, this confirms that ESPN Plus will not provide live access to ESPN's main channels like ESPN and ESPN2 - you'll still need a cable subscription to authenticate and watch.

Iger said little during the earnings call about Disney's announced acquisition of 21st Century Fox's entertainment assets beyond the fact that the companies are working through the regulatory process.

Disney has said it wants to launch another streaming service for its other entertainment, though Iger said Tuesday that project probably won't land until late 2019.

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With regard to why Benioff and Weiss aren't developing a Star Wars television series instead, Iger said, "Their interest was in creating a series of films that are Star Wars-based and we've actually been talking to them for a long time. It's more likely than not that you won't see new co-finance deals but we will respect and honor the deals they have in place". The segment's theatrical business had a solid quarter due to the strong performances of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Thor: Ragnarok, and Coco, and these three films collectively generated over $4.4 billion in the global box office.

A relatively lackluster year for Disney's studio, which released fewer movies in 2017 than the year before, also led to lower first-quarter profit and sales in consumer products. "Because the deal isn't completely closed, we can't be specific about that", Iger said during an earnings call Tuesday according to The Hollywood Reporter. Notably, Disney gets Fox's share in Hulu, giving it a controlling stake.

As for what these TV shows will be about or whether they will be live-action or animated, that's unclear.

Both streaming direct-to-consumer products will be powered by BAMTech.

"Disney is likely to be a global player in streaming in the coming years, given the breadth and depth of its content", he said. That marked a 1 percent increase versus the year-ago period; meanwhile, the broadcast unit saw revenues dip 3 percent to $1.75 billion.

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