Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been one of the biggest events in Disney history. The Disney earnings report showed that the company brought in $2.9 billion in its first quarter of the year, thanks to the Star Wars box-office numbers.
The Disney earnings report showed a 28 percent increase in quarterly profit, reports the New York Times.
Wired reports that the quarter ended on January 2, which makes the news even more unbelievable because Star Wars: The Force Awakens hadn’t finished its box-office run on January 2.
“Driven by the phenomenal success of Star Wars, we delivered the highest quarterly earnings in the history of our company,” said Bob Iger, the chairman and chief executive officer of Disney. “We’re very pleased with our results, which continue to validate our strategic focus and investments in brands and franchises.”
It’s not just the Star Wars ticket sales that have been helping Disney, it’s also the Star Wars toys, games, and merchandise. Up to this point, the Force Awakens box-office numbers has surpassed $2 billion internationally. Whether or not it can surpass Titanic or Avatar is doubtful, however.
As for the Disney World parks, Bob Iger and company reported a gain of 22 percent from last year in operating income. Disney World ticket prices and resort prices increased slightly last year, and Bob Iger was quick to blame an increase in guest spending as the reason for the gain.
But everything is not well over at the Walt Disney Company. Even though Disney earnings per share is up, the company is facing some problems regarding the TV industry.
“Even though I think people realize their other businesses are doing great… the overarching TV industry issues were going to prevail [on Wall Street] no matter what,” said Robin Diedrich, an analyst at Edward Jones Research.
Even though Bob Iger wanted to calm doubts about ESPN, he wouldn’t specify just how many subscribers Disney lost during the last quarter. It was the biggest dark spot during the Disney earnings call for sure, as many investors sent a barrage of questions in Bob Iger’s direction regarding ESPN alone.
“Our results clearly show that our long-term strategic focus and investments in brands and franchises are driving remarkable value in these businesses, greatly increasing their impact on the company, and further diversifying our future growth,” Iger said.
Even though Disney posted its best quarter ever, the stock itself has been in a downward spiral since August. This is because many cable and satellite operators have been offering slim packages without ESPN, leading to more homes leaving it out of their channel groups.
“In any market, we believe ESPN is well positioned to continue to thrive for many reasons,” he said Tuesday.
The biggest reason is the sheer demand for live sports programming, which won’t be going anywhere in the future.
The truth is that Disney earnings per share are up, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens has much to do with that. It’s not just Star Wars though, even though Star Wars: Rogue One is coming out later this year, upcoming films like Zootopia, Finding Dory, and Captain America: Civil War are poised to provide a steady stream of income for Disney moving forward.
“I do think that the media concerns are overshadowing what I think could be a really long tail of very strong profits from the impact of Star Wars,” Diedrich said. “It will bleed over to not just the studio but also the theme parks and consumer products.”
The Disney company has benefited from a galaxy far, far, away, and they will continue to following the success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
[Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images]