Media giant Walt Disney Co DIS made a big move by naming a new CEO to help turn around a struggling stock price. Here’s a look at the early strengths the new CEO could have.
What Happened: Disney recently announced it was replacing CEO Bob Chapek with former CEO Bob Iger, a man who previously led Disney in the CEO role for 15 years.
Iger has already made several changes and one analyst is calling for more changes such as the potential spinning off of the ESPN sports segment.
The good news for Iger is shortly after re-joining the company, Disney could soon be celebrating a strong box office performance.
The Thanksgiving Day weekend is typically a strong box office for movie theater companies. This year’s Thanksgiving holiday will see the opening of the animated movie “Strange World” from Disney. The new Disney movie is expected to have a box office gross of $30 million to $40 million in its opening weekend, according to Variety.
“Encanto,” which was released over the 2021 Thanksgiving holiday, grossed $40.3 million domestically. Disney has successfully released many of its hits over the extended holiday weekend including “Frozen 2,” “Ralph Breaks the Internet” and “Coco.”
One item to watch could be the international box office performance of “Strange World.” The movie is expected to gross $25 million to $29 million in foreign markets according to Deadline and will not be released in China and several other countries.
Disney opted not to submit the movie to several markets due to the inclusion of a gay character, something that previously led to “Lightyear” being turned down by several countries.
Disney’s “Strange World” could have competition from an existing movie to top the weekend box office list — and the good news for Disney is it’s one of its own productions.
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” which was released two weeks ago, is expected to have a box office of $40 million over the holiday weekend.
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” has seen a domestic box office of $258 million and a global box office of $552.2 million. The movie ranked seventh in the year for domestic box office and eighth globally.
Why It’s Important: Disney dominated the box office over the past few years with movies from the Marvel and Star Wars franchises breaking records.
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” broke November records and looks to move up the domestic and global box office 2022 chart over the next few weeks.
Disney currently has the second, sixth and seventh biggest releases of the year domestically with a connection to eighth place with “Spider-Man: No Way Home” from Sony Group Corp SONY.
The strong opening from “Strange World” and the continued success of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” could help strengthen the outlook for Disney and Iger moving forward.
The company’s current fiscal quarter will have the results from the Black Panther sequel, “Strange World” and the highly anticipated “Avatar: The Way of Water,” the sequel to the record-breaking 2009 film, which is scheduled to open in the U.S. on Dec. 16.
In 2023, Disney has several Marvel movies coming, a fifth Indiana Jones movie and movies such as “The Little Mermaid” and “Haunted Mansion.”
Strong box office performance could help Iger strengthen the case that Disney has strong intellectual property and brands and just needs more focus on costs and direction moving forward to help the stock rebound.
DIS Price Action: Disney shares are up 2.78% to $98.90 on Wednesday versus a 52-week range of $86.28 to $160.32.
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