Disney tries to bring back the magic, unveils park changes
The Walt Disney Co. is making several changes at its domestic theme parks, including some easier reservations, in order to improve the public perception of its business. Among the changes: it will cease charging for overnight self-parking at its Walt Disney World resorts; Walt Disney World annual passholders will be able to visit the theme parks after 2 p.m. without needing a park reservation (except on Saturdays and Sundays at Magic Kingdom) and individuals buying its Genie+ service will receive digital downloads of their ride photos taken in the park on the day of their purchase for no additional charge. Like many companies, Disney struggled during the lockdowns of the COVID-19 pandemic.news.yahoo.com
Iger back on top in a Disney plot twist that few saw coming
Bob Iger, the enterprising entertainment executive who brought Star Wars, Pixar and Marvel under the Disney marquee and challenged the streaming dominance of Netflix, will replace his handpicked successor, CEO Bob Chapek, whose two-year tenure has been marked by clashes, missteps and a weakening financial performance.
Dan Loeb's Third Point takes new stake in Disney
Daniel Loeb's Third Point has taken a new stake in Disney, according to a letter obtained by CNBC's David Faber. In a letter to Disney CEO Bob Chapek, Loeb urged the entertainment company to integrate streamer Hulu directly into the Disney+ direct-to-consumer platform. Comcast has an agreement to sell its 33% stake in Hulu to Disney in two years. Loeb said Disney should "make every attempt" to acquire Comcast's remaining minority stake before the 2024 deadline. He had held a stake for two years from 2020 to early 2022, pushing Disney to ramp up its streaming services.cnbc.com
Disney board votes to extend CEO Bob Chapek's contract by three years
Disney has extended CEO Bob Chapek's contract for three more years, the company announced Tuesday. "In this important time of growth and transformation, the Board is committed to keeping Disney on the successful path it is on today, and Bob's leadership is key to achieving that goal. Bob is the right leader at the right time for The Walt Disney Company, and the Board has full confidence in him and his leadership team." Chapek, 63, has worked for the Walt Disney Company for nearly 30 years and is its 7th CEO. He took over the position from Bob Iger in 2020 just as the coronavirus pandemic began to shuttered different facets of the entertainment industry.cnbc.com
Elton John doc ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ lands at Disney
Sir Elton John is preparing to say goodbye in fabulous splendor, with the help of a documentary crew and the Walt Disney Co. Disney Original Documentary and Disney+ said Wednesday that the film, entitled “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road: The Final Elton John Performances and the Years that Made his Legend,” will serve as the definitive and official feature on John’s life and career.
Bergman succeeds Horn as Disney Studios chairman
In this combination photo, Alan Bergman, left, and Alan F. Horn, attend the premiere of "The Mandalorian" in Los Angeles on Nov. 13, 2019. The Walt Disney Company announced Monday, Dec. 21, 2020 that Bergman has been named Chairman, Disney Studios Content, effective January 1, and Horn will continue to serve as the divisions Chief Creative Officer. (Photo by Mark Von Holden/Invision/AP, file)Walt Disney Co. veteran Alan Bergman has been named chairman of Disney Studios, the company said Monday. “The Walt Disney Studios’ achievements under the leadership of Alan Horn and Alan Bergman have been nothing short of extraordinary,” said Bob Chapek, Walt Disney Co. CEO, in a statement. Bergman has worked at Disney for 24 years and served as president of Walt Disney Studios from 2005 to 2019, helping to integrate Pixar, Lucasfilm, Marvel and Twenty-First Century Fox into the Disney stable of brands.
Disney unveils plans to stream a galaxy of new series, films
NEW YORK – The Walt Disney Co.’s streaming plans shifted into hyper speed Thursday, as the studio unveiled a galaxy’s worth of new streaming offerings including plans for 10 “Star Wars” series spinoffs and 10 Marvel series that will debut on Disney+. But Disney also kept its biggest films — including Marvel's “Black Widow," Pixar's “Luca,” a “Lion King” prequel — on course for theatrical release. Jenkins becomes the first woman to direct a “Star Wars” film. Among the “Star Wars” series are two spinoffs of “The Mandalorian,” set during the series' timeline: “Rangers of the New Republic” and “Ahsoka,” with Rosario Dawson. Seven Disney films topped $1 billion worldwide.
Disney reorg to further bolster company's focus on streaming
The company said in August that its Disney Plus service has more than 60 million subscribers, and subscribers to its main combination of streaming services — Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and Hulu — top 100 million. It still plans to launch another international streaming service called Star. Disney has released several major titles on streaming services that would traditionally have appeared at cinemas, like a live-action remake of "Mulan" and the upcoming Pixar film “Soul" that will hit Disney Plus at Christmas. Their primary focus will be on making shows and movies for streaming services, Disney CEO Bob Chapek said in a statement. Disney Plus is considered one of the most successful so far.
Pixar's 'Soul' bypasses theaters, will stream on Christmas
NEW YORK – The Pixar film “Soul” will skip theaters and instead premiere on Disney+ on Christmas, the Walt Disney Co. announced Thursday, sending one of the fall's last big movies straight to streaming. The successive delays of the film industry's would-be blockbusters has only made the dire circumstances of movie theaters more acute. Without aid, the organization said, 69% of small and mid-sized movie theater companies will close or go bankrupt. “The stark reality is that many movie theaters will not be able to open again if they don’t receive government help,” says Esther Baruh, director of government relations for the association. It recently announced that it would lay off 28,000 workers, most of them at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, and Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
After a long slumber, U.S. cinemas awaken on pivotal weekend
This combination shows Yifei Liu in the title role of "Mulan," left, and John David Washington in a scene from "Tenet." On Thursday, Christopher Nolans Tenet will arrive in U.S. theaters, the first big movie to head to cinemas since the pandemic began. I didnt expect that many people to show up.More Americans will make their way back to the movies this weekend than any since the pandemic shuttered theaters in March. After debuting in Europe, Canada and Korea last weekend, Tenet on Thursday lands in the 75% open U.S. theaters, along with cinemas in China on Friday. As long as its done in a sensible way.As difficult as the circumstances are, Warner Bros. also sees opportunity.
What could Disney crowds look like when the park reopens? We take a guess at the numbers
ORLANDO, Fla. – Walt Disney World is set to once again open its gates to the Magic Kingdom following a lengthy closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. But with most families staying inside and not traveling, how crowded will the theme parks really be when they reopen? Park Capacity Capacity at 25% Magic Kingdom 57,000 people 14,250 people Epcot 34,093 people 8,523 people Hollywood Studios 30,843 people 7,710 people Animal Kingdom 37,671 people 9,417 peopleA park at 25% capacity would mean very minimal wait times. As we can all imagine, visiting a Disney theme park when it reopens will be a new experience for all -- no matter how many times you’ve visited. The Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom parks will open first July 11, with Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios reopening July 15.