The entertainment empire made $ 17 billion in revenue and $ 923 million in profits from April to June.
Disney seduced beyond expectations from April to June, both on streaming platforms and in theme parks, and the Delta variant of the Covid does not seem set to dramatically affect its activities this summer.
Disney + now has 116 million subscribers, well beyond market expectations, according to the US group’s earnings release released Thursday. However, the streaming service increased its base monthly price to $ 8 in April. Analysts were only expecting between 113 and 114 million members. The figure is closely monitored, as a barometer of the service’s capacity to grow despite the gradual exit from the pandemic, which has largely contributed to its success since its launch at the end of 2019.
“Now that Disney + has launched in most major markets, the hard work begins. We will have to continue to attract new subscribers while retaining those who have already subscribed ”, underlined Eric Haggstrom of the firm eMarketer. Corn “Disney’s streaming catalog is the biggest competition for Netflix, and Disney + is rapidly gaining ground on the industry leader”, he added.
“Our platforms are working very well”, welcomed the boss of the firm, Bob Chapek. “We now have 174 million subscriptions in total to Disney +, ESPN + (sports) and Hulu, and a lot of new content about to be released”.
Great sun in the parks
The entertainment empire also delighted investors with $ 17 billion in revenue and 923 million in profits from April to June, instead of the net loss of $ 4.7 billion in the same period. last year, when the health crisis hit its theme parks and cruises head-on. In the third quarter of its staggered fiscal year, its division “Parks, experiences and derivative products” has finally returned to the green, for the first time since the start of the pandemic, in particular thanks to the partial lifting of restrictions in amusement parks in Florida and California, even if they still operate with limited capacities. The activity garnered $ 4.3 billion in revenue, up from $ 1.1 billion a year ago.
With the spread of the Delta variant, Disney had to re-impose the mask on its visitors at the end of July in the closed places of its amusement parks. And Bob Chapek mentioned on the analyst conference call that group bookings are more easily canceled. Corn “Generally speaking, reservations for our parks are well above the level of the past quarter, which was already remarkable”, he added.
Bad times for movie theaters
The variant also hinders the group in its strategic decisions concerning the release of films at the cinema and / or on Disney +. “We had not anticipated, and no one else either, the resurgence of the Covid with the Delta variant, which has a significant impact on the market”, admitted Bob Chapek. The boss recalled that the group had chosen to prioritize flexibility, to be able “To follow the consumer wherever he goes”. And “When the theaters reopened, there was an immense reluctance from the public to come back”, he insisted.
The film Black widow was released at the same time on Disney + and in theaters, which earned the California firm the lawsuit of star Scarlett Johansson. She accuses Disney of breach of contract which cost her millions of dollars, because the online release would have affected cinema revenues. “Disney’s tactics around theatrical releases will have major consequences for the industry”, commented Third Bridge analyst Joe McCormack. “Experts believe that if they keep releasing the movies the same day in person and on the platform, they could potentially cut the movie theater industry in half.”
The title of the group appreciated by more than 5% during electronic exchanges after the close of the stock market.