New ‘Star Wars’ trilogy raises hopes for Disney Co
THE FORCE of “Star Wars” lifted Walt Disney Co shares 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 percent 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. Total revenue from Disney’s cable business, the largest unit which includes ESPN and the Disney Channel, fell marginally to $3.95 billion in the fourth quarter, missing the $4.06 billion consensus of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.