The Dallas Morning News
Disney’s full picture isn’t so black and white
If you went to the movies last year, you probably contributed to Disney’s record box-office haul. Four films (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Captain America: Civil War, Zootopia and Finding Dory) crossed $1 billion in global receipts, with Jungle Book falling just short of that. Each of its major studios — Disney Pictures, Marvel, Disney Animation, Lucasfilm and Pixar — helped Disney rake in more than $7.5 billion in total box-office receipts.
That’s how Disney overcame weakness in its core media business and posted fiscal 2016 earnings up 12 percent over year-ago levels and revenue up 6 percent.
Still, the company faces challenges, such as falling subscriber counts at ESPN, Disney Channel and its other cable properties, and Disney’s ABC has been losing viewers to streaming services. Domestic theme park attendance has also declined in recent quarters.
On the other hand, Disney World is getting an Avatar-theme expansion, and Star Wars Land will open at both Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2019. Disney offers patient believers a growing dividend that recently yielded 1.4 percent.