Starwars brings hope for struggling disney
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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