Will Hollywood Make Sure That Netflix Faces Competition Overseas?

That’s what some analysts here predict after looking at the deal Disney announced yesterday to license movies and TV shows to NetMovies Entertainment, a Brazilian competitor to Netflix. The release says this is “the first major global studio deal for NetMovies,” which … Read More »

Comments (2)

Disney Won’t Fight The Navy, Withdraws Application For SEAL Team 6 Trademark

The Walt Disney Co. has reversed course and withdrawn its applications to trademark SEAL Team 6, the name of the elite Navy unit that killed Osama bin Laden. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Navy filed its own … Read More »

Comments 31

UPDATE: ‘Mars Needs Moms’ A Costly Disappointment, But Disney CEO Bob Iger Stays Upbeat About Marvel, ABC And ESPN

UPDATE, 4:15 PM: How costly a mistake was Mars Needs Moms? Disney says the studio lost about $70 million in release costs and in an impairment charge for a film it now calls “very disappointing.” Still, CEO Bob Iger tried — not always successfully — to avoid sounding sour today as analysts probed him about quarterly results that seemed to have befuddled many of them. Iger talked up the prospects for Disney’s upcoming sequels to Pirates of the Caribbean and Cars. He also banged the drum for The Avengers, the Marvel action film due next year. Now that Disney has negotiated an early exit from Marvel’s distribution deal with Paramount, Iger says the movie will be the “first really big initiative” from Disney’s acquisition of Marvel with the potential to “turn into a true franchise.” He adds that Marvel is developing a block of shows for Disney XD, as well as individual programs for ABC and ABC Family. Also on the television side, Iger says the coming upfront ad market will “be a strong one” – which is far more vague than CBS chief Les Moonves’ projection of “solid-double digit increases” for his network. Iger acknowledged that the last few years were “not as great” for ABC as they were during the heyday of its hits including Lost, Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy. But while he says that ABC has made “no decisions yet” about the primetime shows it will pick up for this fall, Iger adds that he’s “encouraged” by the pilots he has seen including “some really strong shows” from ABC itself. Read More »

Comments (9)

Ground-Breaking On Shanghai Disney Resort

By | Thursday April 7, 2011 @ 7:30pm PDT

It’s the first Disney theme park to be built in mainland China. Friday’s announcement from The Walt Disney Company and Shanghai Shendi Group, its joint venture partner in China, marked the start of construction at a groundbreaking ceremony held earlier in the day. It featured traditional Chinese drum music, a female soloist singing in Mandarin, a 50-voice Shanghai children’s choir, and Mickey Mouse dressed in a traditional Chinese costume. Following the entertainment and remarks, Walt Disney Co President/CEO Bob Iger and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs were joined by Shanghai Party Secretary Yu Zhengsheng and Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng to officially break ground on the project. It follows approval from the Chinese central government in Beijing. Read More »

Comments (4)

Disneyland Turning Away Visitors At Gates

By | Tuesday December 28, 2010 @ 4:34pm PST

It’s a nice problem to have if you’re the Walt Disney Co — but not if you’re trying to visit the Anaheim theme parks. I’m told that both yesterday and today Disneyland began turning away would-be visitors within hours of opening and … Read More »

Comments 79

Disney Online EVP/Managing Director Exits

By | Friday December 17, 2010 @ 1:37pm PST

Today 16-year Disney veteran Paul Yanover today announced his January departure in an email to his staff. This is the latest shakeup at Disney digital following a wholesale manager changeover (Bob Iger Splits Read More »

Comments (6)

Disney Moves Muppets From Xmas To T-Day

By | Wednesday December 8, 2010 @ 2:00pm PST

BURBANK, Calif. – December 8, 2010 – The Walt Disney Studios announced today that it has moved the release date for its upcoming The Muppets Movie to November 23, 2011. Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie the Bear, Gonzo, Animal and the rest of the gang will reunite in

Read More »

Comments (7)

It’s Official: Disney Seals Sale of Miramax

The Walt Disney Co’s sale of Miramax Films to Filmyard Holdings for $663 million — subject to certain adjustments — has been completed, it was announced today by both companies. The actual owners are construction magnate Ron Tutor and Tom Barrack’s Santa … Read More »

Comments (1)

Disney Declares $.40 Annual Cash Dividend

BURBANK, Calif., December 1, 2010 – The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) board today declared an annual cash dividend of $0.40 per share, up five cents from the previous year. The dividend is payable on January 18, 2011 to

Read More »

Comments (1)

Leak Leads To Disney Earnings Drama

Disney released its earnings report today, but a leak of the numbers before the bell rung had investors making moves before trading actually ended. So shares dropped 5% in the final half hour before ending with a 2.9% loss. The company … Read More »

Comments (1)

Disney And Time Warner Cable Have Made “Significant Progress” In Carriage Dispute

Nellie Andreeva

It looks like the negotiations between the Walt Disney Co and Time Warner Cable for a new carriage agreement may not go down to the wire after all. On IHaveChoices.com, the website Disney launched last month in response to TWC’s RollOverOrGetTough.com, … Read More »

Comments (8)

Every Studio & Network Boosted Earnings; So Why Isn’t Hollywood Working More?

UPDATE: The Walt Disney Co was the last major studio and network to report quarterly earnings, and its fiscal 3rd quarter profit rose 40% on the strong box office grosses from Pixar’s Toy Story 3, Marvel’s Iron Man 2, and Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland 3D. As promised, here is an earnings roundup showing that Big Media is alive and well and even flourishing not just this quarter but in many cases for next quarter or even the entire year. Yet the trickle down effect has been slow or nonexistent for Hollywood. After rounds of layoffs during the economic crisis, the moguls are still slow to put people back to work. And the movie and TV community still is underemployed. But what everyone can count on is that Big Media’s good news for the benefit of Wall Street will turn into bad news to the detriment of talent, behind-the-camera, post-production, and below-the-line unions when it’s time to negotiate:

August 5th: Viacom Inc Reports Sharply Higher Earnings For Q2
Credit the rebounding economy and recovering advertising market. Net earnings rose to $420 million, or 69 cents a share, up 52% from $277 million, or 46 cents a share, a year ago. Executive Chairman Sumner Redstone gushed, ”With six months under our belt in this calendar year, day after day our confidence continues to grow as the emerging economy recovery builds. Now of course we’re not all the way back, but the light is brighter than it’s been for some time… Consumers are returning to the marketplace, marketers are beginning to spend again to grow revenues and capture share and Viacom is now and will continue to benefit.” Revenue at Viacom’s media networks group rose 6% to $2.1 billion.

Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman said ad revenue growth has been improving quarter by quarter. “Once we get into October and into the December quarter, we will benefit from this upfront where we have greater volume than last year at higher pricing. Dauman singled out Jersey Shore as a show where ”we have advertisers scrambling to get on it. We have advertisers who want to be wall to wall in particular episode. We’re turning them away.” Viacom’s movie business was down 10% to 41.25 billion, led by a 43% drop in home entertainment revenue. Also, Paramount Pictures has primarily been distributing others’ films like Iron Man 2 and Shrek Forever After in 2010 and self-financing its own pics. It is deliberately pursuing a strategy of a smaller slate of films in 2010-2011. Still, the film unit booked income of $69 million, reversing an $8 million loss in the same quarter a year ago. Viacom continued to post equity losses from its EPIX joint venture but said it should approach break-even by the end of the year.

August 4th: News Corp Posts Improved 4th Quarterly Results
News Corp posted a profit of $875 million, or 33 cents a share, for its fiscal 4Q ended June 30th easily beating analysts expectations. That compared with a loss of $203 million, or 8 cents a share, a year ago, when News Corp took an impairment charge. Revenue grew 6% to $8.11 billion, as companies spent more to advertise on the company’s television stations, TV channels and newspapers. That beat the average forecast of analysts of $8.05 billion. COO Chase Carey explained that brisk sales of advertising at Fox Broadcasting and the company’s cable television networks made the difference, while ad rates at the Fox network are up by a double-digit percentage from this spring. Ad rates are even better at the cable channels, which already represent more than 50% of the company’s profits. Local television station advertising revenues improved 29% in the quarter and 8% for the year compared to the same periods a year ago, reflecting strength in the automobile and telecom sectors. Read More »

Comments 42

Disney Buys Big Social Game Developer

Burbank, California – July 27, 2010—The Walt Disney Company has agreed to acquire Playdom Inc., one of the leading companies in the fast-growing business of online social gaming. Playdom shareholders will receive total consideration of $563.2

Read More »

Comments (0)

DWA & Comcast: Who’s Pursuing Whom?

EXCLUSIVE: To overhear Jeffrey Katzenberg’s private conversations these days, Comcast supposedly wants to buy DreamWorks Animation Katzenberg400and make him head of NBC Universal. But at last week’s Camp Allen — Sun Valley’s annual Alllen & Co investment conference attended by the Who’s … Read More »

Comments 21

Disney Latest Big Media Behemoth To Profit During Recession & Writers Strike

iger-mouse-small.jpgThe Walt Disney Company made it an even dozen quarters in a row that its quarterly earnings beat Wall Street estimates. CEO Bob Iger reported that second quarter profit rose $1.13 billion for 58 cents a share, or 22%, based … Read More »

Comments (12)
« Previous Deadline | Hollywood