Netflix and Disney to shut down productions due to Covid-19 but Frozen sequel to arrive early to streaming
Disney chief says animated film will provide ‘fun and joy during challenging period’ while company halts production on live-action moviesWalt Disney will fast-track the release of the Frozen sequel to its streaming platform in a bid to spark “fun and joy” during the coronavirus outbreak, while at the same time joining US streaming giant Netflix in shutting down some of its productions.The company said on Friday that Frozen 2 would be available on its digital streaming platform Disney+ from Sunday in the US, three months earlier than scheduled. The film, released in cinemas last year, is the sequel to its 2013 animated blockbuster. Continue reading...
More like this (3)
The winners and losers among 11 Disney businesses, as its credit rating takes a hit over park closures and production shutdowns (DIS)
Disney's credit rating was downgraded by S&P Global Ratings on Thursday, because of uncertainty around when...Disney's credit rating was downgraded by S&P Global Ratings on Thursday, because of uncertainty around when its theme parks, and TV and film productions, will be allowed to reopen. Previously in April, Wells Fargo analysts projected that Disney's parks will remain empty for the rest of the company's fiscal year, which ends in September, and be filled to half capacity to limit crowding next fiscal year. "Until the time at which there is significantly improved testing and/or a widely available vaccine it's tough for us to imagine long lines for 'Rise of the Resistance,' no matter how much folks might want to go to [Walt Disney World] deep down," the Wells Fargo note said. The Wells Fargo report also broke down the impact of lockdown measures on 11 of Disney's businesses, including Disney Plus, which it estimates will become more valuable. Click here for more BI Prime stories. This post was originally published on April 9 and has been updated to reflect Disney's changed credit rating. Disney's credit rating is taking a hit as its theme park, and TV and film productions, remain halted. On Thursday, S&P Global Ratings downgraded Disney's credit rating to an A-, citing the massive disruptions to the entertainment company's theme park, TV, and film operations. "Most importantly, theme parks and film and TV studios remain closed by government-mandated social distancing orders and it's unclear when they will be allowed to reopen," the firm said in the April 23 report. Analysts at Wells Fargo previously forecasted that Disney's theme parks, which are closed globally, wouldn't reopen until next fiscal year, and could take two years for attendance to fully recover. The Wells Fargo report from April 7 also broke down 11 of Disney's businesses are being impacted by lockdown measures around the world. The firm, which said it had been bullish on Disney since the media company unveiled its streaming strategy in 2017, said in the April 7 report that it was tweaking its view in light of the severe global disruption to Disney's theme-park business, an impeding "ad recession," and a challenging theatrical environment. Wells Fargo is now targeting an enterprise value of $244 billion for Disney over the next 12 months, 26% less than before the coronavirus outbreak. Disney's current enterprise value is about $234 billion after the stock took a beating amid coronavirus concerns and as the company took on more debt. The biggest cuts from Wells Fargo's valuation came from Disney's theme-park business, which was once a reliable profit driver. Other businesses, like streaming services Hulu and Disney Plus, became more valuable in Wells Fargo's analysis. Disney announced on April 8 that Disney Plus had reached 50 million paid subscribers globally. The service is available in the US, Canada, eight Western European countries including the UK, and India, where it's bundled with another Disney streaming service, Hotstar, and has about 8 million subscribers. "We've thought the value creation from Disney Plus (and later on Hulu) would be enough to more than offset a declining environment for media networks," the note said. "We still believe in that, but we didn't foresee this unique and severe downturn for parks." The analysts expect "zero park attendance" and no revenue for the rest of Disney's fiscal year, which closes on September 30, since Disney's theme parks are now closed. Even when the parks reopen, it'll take time for attendance to ramp up again. Wells Fargo projects Disney parks will be filled to half capacity during the company's next fiscal year to limit crowding. It could take two years for attendance to recover, the firm said. "Until the time at which there is significantly improved testing and/or a widely available vaccine it's tough for us to imagine long lines for 'Rise of the Resistance,' no matter how much folks might want to go to [Walt Disney World] deep down," the note said. "We see the limiting factor as healthcare technology as assets like Walt Disney World will either need to operate with social distancing in-place — significantly limiting capacity — or a vaccine will need to be widely enough available that the population will again feel safe in such a gathering. Testing may also improve, allowing customers with immunity/antibodies to behave a bit more freely." Disney executives seem to be realizing that as well. Bob Iger, Disney's executive chairman and former CEO, told Barron's that Disney was discussing whether it would need to implement temperature checks at its parks, similar to the way it checks visitors' bags. "One of the things that we're discussing already is that in order to return to some semblance of normal, people will have to feel comfortable that they're safe," Iger said in the interview. "Some of that could come in the form ultimately of a vaccine, but in the absence of that it could come from basically, more scrutiny, more restrictions. Just as we now do bag checks for everybody that goes into our parks, it could be that at some point we add a component of that that takes people's temperatures, as a for-instance." Here's the breakdown of Wells Fargo's valuation for each of Disney's businesses, based on company reports and Wells Fargo's estimates: Company asset Target Enterprise Value before April 7 Target EV after April 7 Studios (Marvel, Pixar, Lucasfilm, Disney, 20th Century Fox) $94.8 billion $73.8 billion Parks $66.7 billion $22.9 billion Disney Plus (excluding India AVOD) $46.7 billion $54 billion Consumer products $36.3 billion $14.8 billion Hulu $22.2 billion $27.1 billion ESPN $17.6 billion $11 billion Other cable networks (e.g. FX) $14.9 billion $14.2 billion Broadcast networks and studios $12.2 billion $8 billion International networks $9.2 billion $7.6 billion BAMTech $5.1 billion $5.1 billion ESPN Plus $5 billion $5 billion TOTAL $330.6 billion $244 billion For more about how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting media, see our coverage on BI Prime: 40 advertising execs who manage $90 billion in spending describe how they're shifting their 2020 budgets in a new report. Here are 4 key takeaways for the TV industry: Connected-TV platforms like Roku and Hulu are expected to see the biggest gains in TV advertising, and Disney is the best-positioned cable-network group. The key factors analysts are watching at 5 major media companies including Disney and Fox to help determine whether their stock will keep falling or rebound: Combined, Disney, Fox, ViacomCBS, Discovery, and AMC Networks lost $92 billion in market value since the last market high on February 19, largely thanks to Disney. Disney has closed its US parks 'until further notice' and risks losing $1.5 billion in revenue per month they are shut, analysts say: Disney is extending "until further notice" its closures of its US theme parks, Disney World and Disneyland, because of the coronavirus pandemic, the company announced on March 27. Analysts lay out the financial damage each of Disney's businesses could face, as it closes parks 'until further notice' and delays films: Disney is one of the media companies most exposed the impact of the coronavirus because of its large theme-park and theatrical businesses. Why analysts say Disney and Discovery are the media giants most threatened by the coronavirus, but Comcast could fare better: Companies that generate significant shares of their revenue from theme parks, films, and advertising are most sensitive to the pandemic and the economic downturn it could ignite. Why Netflix's business could take a hit from the coronavirus, despite reports that 'stay at home' stocks could benefit: Much of Netflix's revenue growth is international, including markets like Europe and Asia, which are especially vulnerable to the virus. Disney's surprise CEO change makes sense because of the coronavirus' growing impact on its business, according to a Wall Street analyst: The day-to-day pressures of the Disney CEO may mount if the coronavirus continues to spread outside of China, drawing former chief Bob Iger's focus at a crucial creative moment. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: A cleaning expert reveals her 3-step method for cleaning your entire home quickly
The former C.E.O. thought he was riding into the sunset. Now he’s reasserting control and reimagining...The former C.E.O. thought he was riding into the sunset. Now he’s reasserting control and reimagining Disney as a company with fewer employees and more thermometers.
Disney Plus is an on-demand, ad-free streaming service with a growing collection of movies and...Disney Plus is an on-demand, ad-free streaming service with a growing collection of movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and 20th Century Fox. The streaming platform costs $6.99/month or $69.99/year after a seven-day free trial. You can also bundle Disney Plus with Hulu and ESPN+ for $12.99/month, which is about $5 per month less than you'd pay if you subscribed to each service separately. If you'd like to give a Disney Plus subscription to a Disney fan in your life, you can now send an annual gift subscription ($69.99) via email. A new streaming service has joined the ranks of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and the many other services jostling for control of your TV. Disney Plus features TV and movie content from names we're all well familiar with: Walt Disney Studios and Walt Disney Television. The platform includes a mix of classic titles from Disney's vault and new programs developed exclusively for subscribers. Monthly and yearly plans are available, and the service can even be bundled with Hulu and ESPN+ for more streaming options. Learn more below about how the Disney Plus streaming service works, including what shows and movies are included, how much it costs, and more. What is Disney Plus? Disney Plus is an on-demand, ad-free streaming service created by The Walt Disney Company. With Disney Plus, subscribers can watch thousands of Disney movies and series on their devices (smart TVs, phones, laptops, tablets, and gaming consoles). The service includes unlimited downloads so you can watch anywhere, anytime. Disney Plus content comes from Walt Disney Studios' and Walt Disney Television's biggest names: Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and 20th Century Fox. How much does Disney Plus cost? Disney Plus costs $6.99 per month, or $69.99 per year ($5.83/month). This low price includes hours of entertainment spanning many different genres and interests, and best of all, it's all ad-free. There's also an option to buy a bundled package with Hulu and ESPN+, which costs $12.99 per month for all three services. Individually, the ad-supported version of Hulu is currently $5.99 a month, and ESPN+ is $4.99 a month. If you haven't explored the world of streaming services fully yet, the bundle could be the perfect opportunity to do so for a competitive price. Before you commit to this cost, you can start a seven-day free trial. You can also read about how to get the Disney Plus bundle with ESPN Plus and the ad-free version of Hulu. Are there Disney Plus gift cards? Yes. If you're looking for a great gift for that special Disney fan in your life, you can get them a Disney Plus subscription card. The gift subscription is available for one year of the streaming service and costs $69.99. It's sent via email on a date of your choice. Gift subscriptions can only be redeemed by people who are not already signed up for Disney Plus. Learn more about how to buy a Disney Plus gift subscription. How to watch Disney Plus: You can watch Disney Plus from a large variety of places. The service lets you stream on up to four devices simultaneously: Desktop web browsers Mobile devices and tablets (Android and Apple). Learn how the Disney Plus app works. Smart TVs (LG WebOS, Samsung Tizen, Android TV, Vizio SmartCast, Roku TV) Boxes and game consoles (Apple TV 4th Gen and later, PlayStation 4, Roku, Xbox One) Streaming devices (Chromebook, Chromecast, Apple AirPlay, Amazon Fire TV) Does Disney Plus work on Xbox One? Yes, Disney Plus works on the Xbox One, Xbox One S, and Xbox One X. Who should sign up for Disney Plus? Disney Plus is an ideal service for Disney fans, whether they're Marvel geeks or animation aficionados. It's especially suitable for families with children who want to immerse themselves in the vast world of Disney. Though the current lineup of original programming is a bit limited, more exclusive shows are set to be added over the coming months, including new Star Wars and Marvel shows. For now, however, Disney Plus is more of a draw for people who want to watch recent Disney movies and older Disney titles from the studio's vault. If you're someone who always ends up searching for Disney shows and movies on another streaming service anyway, you might want to consider subscribing to Disney Plus because it holds all that content in one convenient place. Disney is also removing its content from a lot of other streaming services, including Netflix, so Disney Plus will soon become the only subscription streaming platform with access to many of its titles. What shows and movies can I watch on Disney Plus? In short, virtually all of the Disney shows and movies that have already been released. You can cry through Pixar's "Coco" and "Up", learn about the world around you through a Nat Geo documentary, and satisfy your comedic itch with an episode of "The Simpsons." You'll have access to classics like "Snow White" along with recent hits like "Captain Marvel." With that said, some Disney titles, like "Avengers: Infinity War," are still temporarily missing from Disney Plus. Their absence is due to existing licensing deals with other services and networks, and all of the missing titles will be added at a later date. Disney Plus also includes all-new, exclusive original programming, such as a Star Wars TV series focused on a Mandalorian bounty hunter, a retelling of "Lady and the Tramp" featuring Tessa Thompson and Justin Theroux, and a new perspective on the familiar objects in our lives through "The World According to Jeff Goldblum." More original shows are on the way as well, including several series set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier," "WandaVision," and "Loki" were all teased in a special Super Bowl trailer. While the library of exclusives is relatively small right now, this upcoming lineup of original content will allow Disney Plus to compete better against other services with more exclusive shows, like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. These are the best original shows and movies to watch on Disney Plus right now: "The Mandalorian" The Western-style take on "Star Wars" takes place five years after the fall of the Empire and focuses on a bounty hunter who journeys far out into the galaxy. "Pixar in Real Life" This hidden camera show features interactions between Pixar characters and people in the real world. "The World According to Jeff Goldblum" Journey along with Jeff Goldblum ("Jurassic Park," "Thor: Ragnarok") as he travels the world to explore subjects that are of interest to him, including how tattoos, ice cream, and sneakers are made and developed. "Marvel Hero Project" The "Marvel Hero Project" pays tribute to extraordinary kids who have helped their community. In each episode, the kids will be surprised with the honor of being made into a Super Hero with their very own Marvel Comic. "Lady and the Tramp" This live-action retelling of the 1955 Disney classic "Lady and the Tramp" has an all-star cast, including Tessa Thompson ("Westworld," "Thor:Ragnarok") as the voice of Lady and Justin Theroux ("The Leftovers," "Maniac") as the voice of Tramp. When are the global release dates for Disney Plus? Disney Plus is now live and available to stream in the US, Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, and Puerto Rico. The service is also set to launch in Austria, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom on March 24, 2020. Disney Plus is expected to arrive in more global markets, including Belgium, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway, Portugal, and Sweden in summer 2020. How does Disney Plus compare to other streaming services? While services such as Netflix and Hulu cast a wide net over movie and TV entertainment, Disney Plus is much more focused and narrow in scope by revolving entirely around Disney content. Luckily, it doesn't actually feel that limited since Walt Disney Studios and Walt Disney Television create everything from animated kids' movies to action and sci-fi thrillers. It's a major plus that Disney Plus (for the time being) has zero ads. We don't know whether that will change down the line, or whether it will add tiered ad pricing like some other streaming services, but in the meantime, we always appreciate ad-free streaming. At less than $10 a month, it's very affordable compared to major competitors. If you find the Disney content of other streaming services lacking, subscribing to Disney Plus is an affordable way to fix that problem. Of all the major streaming services, it's also one of the most generous in the areas of multiple-device streaming, profile additions, and downloads. You can stream on up to four devices simultaneously, add up to seven profiles, and enjoy unlimited downloads. Disney Plus also offers 4K HDR streaming and Dolby Atmos audio on select titles for no additional cost. This is in contrast to Netflix, which requires subscribers to pay for its most expensive plan to receive 4K support. How do I sign up for Disney Plus? You can sign up on the Disney Plus website. Read everything else you should know about Disney Plus here: How to get a free week of Disney Plus Disney Plus costs $7 a month on its own, but you can bundle it with Hulu and ESPN+ for an extra $6 How to get the Disney Plus bundle with ESPN Plus and the ad-free version of Hulu How to use the Disney Plus app to download and watch movies and shows offline All the new movies you can watch on Disney Plus — from the live-action 'Lady and the Tramp' to holiday comedy 'Noelle' All the new shows you can watch on Disney Plus — from 'The Mandalorian' to new Pixar shorts All the kids' movies you can stream on Disney Plus — from 'Snow White' to 'Frozen' All the new kids' shows you can watch on Disney Plus — from 'Vampirina' to the new reboot of 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars' All the Marvel movies and shows you can stream on Disney Plus — from 'Iron Man' to the new 'Loki' Every single Star Wars movie will be available on Disney Plus All the Pixar films and shorts you can stream on Disney Plus — from 'Toy Story' to 'Inside Out' Join the conversation about this story »