Finding Dory and Jungle Book boosts Disney revenues

Big 5

The popularity of films such as Finding Dory has helped Walt Disney post better-than-expected quarterly results.

The entertainment giant reported a 9% rise in revenue to $14.2bn (£10.9bn) – slightly higher than Wall Street predictions.

Profit for the quarter to 2 July was $120m higher at $2.6bn.

Disney also said it had bought a 33% stake in a video streaming company, BAMTech, for $1bn.

Movies including The Jungle Book and Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War helped propel revenues at its studio divis

Finding Dory had the most successful launch for an animated film in US box office history when it opened in June, making $136.2m in its first weekend.

Disney’s parks and resorts division reported a 6% rise in revenue despite increased cost from the launch of its first park in China and a slowdown in visitor numbers in France.

In June the company opened Shanghai Disney and is already planning an expansion to handle more visitors by 2021.

Revenue at Disney’s cable TV networks rose 1.4% to $4.2bn in the quarter, with a modest gain for sports network ESPN.

ESPN has been a weak point for Disney in past quarters. As some viewers shun expensive cable TV subscriptions in favour of streaming services, investors have worried about the prospects of a network that has traditionally been a cash-cow for the company.

Streaming deal

The stake in BAMTech, which was once part of Major League Baseball’s media business, reflects Disney’s attempt to reflect viewers’ changing habits.

It will develop a multi-sport subscription streaming service with BAMTech.

However, Disney said that content from ESPN’s cable networks would not be carried by the new streaming service. That reflects the company’s attempt not to cannibalise cable subscribers – and the lucrative fees it earned from cable companies in return for carrying ESPN.

Disney chief executive Bob Iger said the firm would work with BAMTech to “explore new ways to deliver the unmatched content of the Walt Disney Company across a variety of platforms”.

Disney will have the option to buy a majority stake in the future.

BAMTech’s platforms serve nearly 7.5 million paid subscribers for customers including HBO’s streaming platform.

Source: BBC