It’s been quite the successful 2019 for for Disney and it’s CEO Bob Iger. Earlier this year via Marvel Studios they wrapped up a ten year story in the making with Avengers: Endgame that became the highest grossing film in cinematic history. They also opened the gates to two new theme park areas, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland and Disneyworld. Also let’s not forget a little acquisition they made of Fox for $71 billion that no doubt is helping filling their brand new streaming service that launched in November, Disney+. All of this success has lead Time Magazine to name Iger, Businessman of the Year. So as we head into the new decade it’s all roses for the ever groing Disney empire right… right?
Not exactly, via a piece on Yahoo Finance, there are a lot of things that could make 2020 a little rough for Disney and Iger. Notice that I did not add the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker on the list of successes. Currently, it has a 56% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, as a lot of critics were not very kind to the film. Perhaps because of these reviews and how many people had issues with Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the finale to the Skywalker saga opened to less than it’s two predecessors at $176 million domestically. The previous films Star Wars: The Force Awakes opened at $247 million and Star Wars: The Last Jedi opened at $220 million. So with Star Wars not finishing with the same hype as Marvel, what is next for a galaxy far far away?
Also let’s go back to Disney+, which is doing very well with it’s nostalgic content as well as it’s original series like The Mandalorian which is why it has reached 22 million downloads since it’s launch date on November 12th. But that content comes at a price as it is reported that Disney has already put $3 billion into the service. Currently it’s being projected that they will suffer further losses of $4.5 billion next year and $3.6 billion in 2021 as revenue slowly catches up to the expenses. It doesn’t help also that the streaming service space is very competitive as both HBO Max and NBC’s Peacock service is looking to join Disney+, Apple TV+, Netflix and Amazon Prime in 2020. True, Disney+ has a lot of things coming out but audiences are looking for more than just Disney content.
Then there is the problem with Disneyland Hong Kong, which has been turned into a “ghost town” due to the protests that have lasted for months. According to the report, visitors from around the globe are staying away from the park and visitors from mainland China, their biggest source of tourists, dropped 46% in October from the year earlier. It will be interesting to see how they decide to deal with this situation that seems not to have an end in site.
All these things are nothing that the mouse can’t handle right? After decades of overcoming different hurdles, we’ll see how they move forward into the new decade as they seem only to want to continue to grow their multimedia empire. Do you think that there are rough waters ahead for Disney? Let us know in the comment section below!
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Source: Yahoo Finance