Starwars brings hope for strug­gling disney

The Sunday Guardian - - The Week -

LOS AN­GE­LES: The force of Star Wars lifted Walt Disney Co shares on Thurs­day as the promise of a new film tril­ogy over­shad­owed dis­ap­point­ing quar­terly re­sults and strug­gles at the me­dia com­pany’s tele­vi­sion busi­ness. The sto­ried movie stu­dio and theme park op­er­a­tor is scram­bling to keep view­ers who are aban­don­ing its cur­rent top money maker, ca­ble networks. The power of its char­ac­ters and brands are the rea­son many in­vestors stick with the com­pany de­spite its chal­lenges. Disney shares rose more than 1% af­ter Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Bob Iger said Disney had struck a deal with Rian John­son, di­rec­tor of up­com­ing film Star Wars: The Last Jedi, to cre­ate a new tril­ogy in the block­buster sci­ence fic­tion se­ries. A live-ac­tion Star Wars TV se­ries also is be­ing de­vel­oped for a stream­ing ser­vice that Disney is launch­ing to cap­ture on­line au­di­ences, Iger said. To ad­dress chal­lenges in its TV networks busi­ness, Disney is de­vel­op­ing fam­ily-friendly stream­ing ser­vices that it will sell di­rectly to con­sumers to com­pete with ri­vals. In­vestors were buoyed by the po­ten­tial of the Star Wars fran­chise and the pric­ing of the stream­ing ser­vice, Ti­gress Fi­nan­cial Part­ners an­a­lyst Ivan Fein­seth said. The Last Jedi, out in De­cem­ber, could ring up $2 bil­lion in global box of­fice sales, he said.

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