'Black Panther' Box-Office Receipts Boost Disney's Earnings

May 8, 2018
Updated 4mo ago

By Madison Alworth

Disney reported second-quarter earnings Tuesday after the bell, posting better-than-expected revenue of $14.55 billion, compared with estimates of $14.11 billion, and higher earnings per share ($1.84 adjusted versus estimates of $1.70). Quarterly revenue increased by about 9 percent.

The blockbuster installment in the Marvel series, "Black Panther," played a big role in the earnings beat. The movie opened about halfway through the quarter and added hundreds of millions dollars to Disney's movie revenue and profit. It became one of the top 10 box-office successes of all time. Disney's studio business earned $2.45 billion for the quarter, driving 21 percent year-over-year growth.

In his earnings call, the chairman and CEO of Disney Bob Iger said the company's filmmakers, "delivered nine of the top 10 biggest domestic box office openings of all time — all of them released within the last six years," as quoted by CNBC.

In addition to movie box-office receipts, Disney's second-quarter earnings were aided by theme park revenues. Analysts anticipated about $4.7 billion from parks and resorts, and Disney reported $4.9 billion, an increase of 13 percent.

For the past couple years, ESPN has seen its cable subscribers decrease. But the sports network's fortunes may get a boost after the start of its new direct-to-consumer ESPN Plus service. The over the top package was announced at the end of the second quarter, and launched in April, but it already seems promising for the company.

This was just the first step in a strategy to build an all-encompassing Disney video-on-demand service. The company is expected to introduce that service sometime in 2019, after its contract with Netflix ends.

On the earnings call, there were sure to be questions on Disney's $52 billion bid for 21st Century Fox. The deal became even more complicated this week when it was reported that Comcast could be making another play for Fox.

It seems that a deal is on the horizon, but it's unclear who will win out in the end. And when asked if this move will be good for consumers, Jack Kramer, co-founder and co-CEO of MarketSnacks was doubtful.

"It's tough to say that consolidation of any industry is good for consumers," he said.

For the full interview, click here.