Disney is in financial distress as its latest movie releases result in billionaire losses while its retail footprint continues to shrink, its streaming service underperforms, and its Florida amusement parks face political battles with state government Ron DeSantis.
The company’s poor financial results are worrying Wall Street and sending shares into a free fall at a time when bankruptcies in the entertainment sector continue to rise. Experts say CEO Bob Iger has a huge problem on his hands, and in today’s video, we break down the troubles facing the House of Mouse.
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A new analysis by Valliant Renegate estimates that the Walt Disney Company is looking at a $900 million loss following the fiasco of its latest releases. The last eight studio movies put out by the entertainment giant had a very weak performance compared to executives’ expectations.
CEO Bob Iger has been facing increasing pressure due to the mounting losses, but he has also been dealing with a political battle against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is trying to take over Disney World’s theme park district. The conflict between DeSantis and Disney started in 2022 after the entertainment enterprise, in the face of rising backlash, publicly opposed legislation concerning a bill that banned schools from teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity for the state’s students.
In retaliation, DeSantis took over Disney World’s governing district through legislation passed by lawmakers and established a new board of supervisors. But the truth is that Disney’s amusement park problems in Florida are small in comparison to the issues facing its online and brick-and-mortar retail operations.
The company’s streaming media business is going from bad to worse this year. According to data shared by Reuters, “Walt Disney Co faced streaming losses by $400 million in the prior quarter and also shed subscribers in Q1 2023.” Overall, the entertainment corporation lost $659 million just on its streaming segment. Subscriptions dropped to 157.8 million from 161.8 million. In total, the company is seeing a loss of over $1.5 billion.
Additionally, Iger announced that two dozen physical locations in America will be eliminated before the end of 2023.
Wall Street is extremely worried about the headwinds faced by Disney, and investors punished the company for its latest earnings report. Amid multiple controversies and shakeups, The Walt Disney Company’s stock price is nowhere near where it once was, losing 117% of its value since 2021. Since the beginning of the year, shares plunged by almost 20%. Financial experts say that the selloff was fueled by uncertainty over Iger’s takeover of the company.
So far, the new CEO has not turned the company around. His, so far, has not been successful. Instead, he laid off 7,000 workers in a cost-cutting move. The cuts come as he tries to slash $5.5 billion in costs to keep the business afloat. The outlook is truly concerning, especially amid a trend of billionaire bankruptcies in the entertainment industry.
This year alone, Vice Media, Regal Cinemas, which owns CineWorld and National CineMedia filed for bankruptcy due to a massive drop in revenue and loss of profitability. The environment is getting more hostile for US businesses as Americans continue to struggle financially. The future of Disney is on the line, and now more than ever, executives must step up their game to save the legacy of Walt Disney.
Video and article cross-posted from Epic Economist.