Thanks to the box office performance of Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel, and Toy Story 4 this past fiscal quarter, Disney saw its revenue increase by 33% year-over-year to $20.25 billion. Analysts, however, reportedly expected earnings to be over $21 billion.So despite their stellar box office success — the studio has already set a box office milestone for 2019 and they still have Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Frozen 2 on the way — Disney nevertheless posted lackluster results for the year’s fiscal third quarter, which saw Disney stock slide more than 4%.
Disney brass is laying the blame on their recently acquired 20th Century Fox film division, which posted a $170 million operating loss for Q3. Disney cited Fox’s box office bomb Dark Phoenix as a major factor in that giant loss, along with marketing costs for other upcoming Fox films such as Ford v. Ferrari.
According to Variety, Disney CEO Robert Iger told investors during an earnings call Tuesday that “[one] of the biggest issues was the Fox studio performance which was well below where it had been and well below where we hoped it would be when we made the acquisition.”
As a result, Disney has scrapped much of Fox’s film development slate, with Iger tasking Disney film brass to take the Fox slate, in Iger’s words, “in a new direction, with an all-new development slate that will focus on a select group of properties.”
Iger told investors, “It will probably take a solid year, maybe two years, before we can have an impact on the films in production. We’re all confident we’re going to turn around the results of Fox live-action.”
James Cameron’s Avatar sequels will continue, while Iger said the Planet of the Apes franchise will also continue on in some fashion, though he didn’t clarify what shape that future would take for the venerable sci-fi property.