'Avengers' + 'Star Wars' = big year for Disney - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

'Avengers' + 'Star Wars' = big year for Disney

By RYAN NAKASHIMA
AP Business Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The pump is primed at Disney to reap the benefits of a big year at the movies.

With its Marvel movie "Avengers: Age of Ultron" just having notched the second-biggest domestic opening weekend of all-time and a new "Star Wars" movie coming this winter, analysts expect the company to post not only great movie studio results but a big uptick in consumer products revenue and profits this year.

"Avengers" has hauled in more than $650 million at theaters globally since its staggered release began two weeks ago, and buzz is already building for "Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens" set for release Dec. 18.

One indicator of the craze surrounding "Star Wars" is that a second teaser trailer for the film released two weeks ago has been viewed over 200 million times.

"The excitement around this movie is unlike anything we have ever seen before," CEO Bob Iger told analysts Tuesday.

Iger also told CNBC Tuesday morning that "Star Wars" is already the No. 1 franchise in the world for consumer products. The Walt Disney Co. plans a massive release of new merchandise surrounding the movie on Sept. 4, what it's calling "Force Friday."

"I think you can expect that the No. 1 franchise in the world is only going to strengthen," Iger told CNBC.

Second-quarter results released Tuesday are a good start. Earnings in the March quarter came to $1.23 per share, beating the $1.11 expected by analysts.

Studio results were better than projected, given a tough comparison to last year when the smash hit "Frozen" was released on home video. Parks attendance and guest spending were higher domestically even with higher ticket prices, and consumer products revenue and profits rose. Media networks profits slipped despite higher revenue, due to the higher cost of sports programming, including the new college football playoffs rights which ESPN splurged on.

Revenue rose 7 percent to $12.46 billion, also topping estimates for $12.28 billion.

Analyst Robin Diedrich with Edward Jones said that Disney's studio, its "lifeblood," is very healthy, as the company is preparing to unleash more Marvel films, a Pixar sequel to "Toy Story" and the start of several "Star Wars" movies over the next several years.

"With a very strong slate they have going for the next four to five years at least, we're looking for double-digit earnings from the company. We think there's still value in the stock at these levels," she said.

Disney shares rose 82 cents to $111.85 in morning trade. The stock has risen 38 percent in the last 12 months.

_____

Portions of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on DIS at http://www.zacks.com/ap/DIS

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Baby born prematurely dies after mother's 911 calls unanswered

    Baby born prematurely dies after mother's 911 calls unanswered

    Tuesday, July 17 2018 3:23 AM EDT2018-07-17 07:23:03 GMT
    Tuesday, July 17 2018 3:23 AM EDT2018-07-17 07:23:03 GMT
    Baby Angel died after she was born not breathing at her mother's home July 5. (Source: Family photos/KETV/CNN)Baby Angel died after she was born not breathing at her mother's home July 5. (Source: Family photos/KETV/CNN)

    The director of the 911 call center says dispatchers were overwhelmed with up to four times the normal amount of calls, most of them fireworks complaints.

    The director of the 911 call center says dispatchers were overwhelmed with up to four times the normal amount of calls, most of them fireworks complaints.

  • US arrests, accuses woman of acting as Russian agent

    US arrests, accuses woman of acting as Russian agent

    Monday, July 16 2018 4:09 PM EDT2018-07-16 20:09:37 GMT
    Tuesday, July 17 2018 3:22 AM EDT2018-07-17 07:22:55 GMT
    (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber). U.S. President Donald Trump, left, listens to Russian President Vladimir Putin during a press conference after their meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, Monday, July 16, 2018.(AP Photo/Markus Schreiber). U.S. President Donald Trump, left, listens to Russian President Vladimir Putin during a press conference after their meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, Monday, July 16, 2018.

    Federal authorities have arrested a Russian woman accused of conspiring to infiltrate American political organizations at the direction of a senior Kremlin official.

    Federal authorities have arrested a Russian woman accused of conspiring to infiltrate American political organizations at the direction of a senior Kremlin official.

  • Hometown hero Harper wins thrilling HR Derby over Schwarber

    Hometown hero Harper wins thrilling HR Derby over Schwarber

    Monday, July 16 2018 10:47 PM EDT2018-07-17 02:47:41 GMT
    Tuesday, July 17 2018 3:22 AM EDT2018-07-17 07:22:03 GMT
    Washington Nationals Bryce Harper (34) reacts to his winning hit during the Major League Baseball Home Run Derby, Monday, July 16, 2018 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)Washington Nationals Bryce Harper (34) reacts to his winning hit during the Major League Baseball Home Run Derby, Monday, July 16, 2018 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Harper thrills home crowd and father by winning Home Run Derby over Schwarber 19-18.

    Harper thrills home crowd and father by winning Home Run Derby over Schwarber 19-18.

Powered by Frankly