Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Diz Watch

You might know this already, but the Mouse House's theatrical division has been eating it:

The studio's operating income plummeted 97% in the company's second fiscal quarter to $13 million, down from $377 million a year earlier.

... [A]t a time when many of the studios are enjoying a feast in ticket sales at the box office, Disney is experiencing a comparative famine. The studio so far this year has ranked at the bottom of the six major Hollywood studios -- as it was in all of 2008 -- in U.S. box office share because of several misfires ...

... During the company's conference call, an analyst asked Iger to explain how, when "the box office is having a record year," the studio could post such a downturn with its movies. Iger replied with an unusually candid assessment.

"It's about choice of films and the execution of the films that have been chosen for production," Iger said. "We've had a rough year in terms of the performance of the slate. So, in that case, it's not the marketplace. It's our slate" ...

Happily, even though the Disney Co.'s film slate has been pummeled ... and attendance at the parks is down, Mr. Iger himself has done quite nicely. Acutally more than nicely. $51.1 million last year. Not too shabby when the stock is cratering.

Of course, Disney artists have taken sizable pay cuts, but hard times require hard measures. At least for some.


Anonymous said...

So it looks like a fourth "Pirates" film is on its way. I'm delighted - but for heaven's sake I hope better scripting will be involved. The third film was a mess (I loved the first two). "Toy Story 3" is a natural, "Up" looks better with every new trailer, and "Princess"...well, I have yet to see a trailer that really excites me, but I'm sooooooooooooooo hungry for some good 2D after a steady diet of pixels. Go Disney!

Anonymous said...

So, nearly a mil a week to get on the phone with analysts and say "we picked the wrong scripts"?

Where do I apply for that job? :0)

Anonymous said...

So what gives with Iger's $50 plus million bonus?

Nice to hear most of the tweenybopper movies are might encourage them to make films out of more original ideas. Sequels aren't a bad thing if they're good, but without original stuff, there can be no sequels!

But Disney Film Marketing needs the most changes. That Jim Gallagher guy has got to go.

Justin said...

It's not just the tweenybopper movies that are flailing. Yes, the Jonas Bros. concert bombed, but so did Confessions of a Shopaholic, Bedtime Stories, and Race to Witch Mountain. Couple that with historically low DVD sales and you got bad business.

Floyd Norman said...

I always laugh when I read these arguments. "Nobody knows anything," as Mr. Goldman continues to say.

If money had been rolling in, the executives would be extolling their brilliance in making such sage marketing choices. The truth is, they have no idea what they're doing -- and frankly, nobody else does either.

This is Hollywood, kids. Nobody knows squat -- and nobody ever will.

scorpiotsm said...

How's that super secret project you're working on for the Mouse, Floyd?

When can we find out what it is? This year? Next? Hmmmm?

Anonymous said...

that Adam Sadler bomb Bedtime Stories really hurt them. animation needs to land a hit, i am really hoping Princess and Frog strikes a cord for Disney.

g said...

Bolt was a moderate hit, making the exact same money as Horton Hears a Who...though from what I hear the cost of Horton was less than half of the cost of Bolt

Its funny, if Bolt wouldnt have had a bad opening weekend, but the grand total for its theatrical run remained the same, people wouldn't have ever questioned Disney's "return to form."

David Co. said...

Um...Bedtime Stories made $100 million domestic on an $80 million budget, and an additional $109 million foreign for a worldwide take of $219 million.

That's not a bomb. Not a runaway hit, but definitely a successful venture.

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