The Disney and Marvel future 2020 and beyond
Disney (and Marvel's) financial future
Internet comments are swinging in two different directions, pro and con on the prospects for Disney staying healthy-ish and surviving, or facing some rough financial situations that could turn to disaster. Added pressure is the maneuvers by Warners/HBO Max to sew up a big piece of the streaming market.
On the con side for a Disney future:
- Disney is over-indebted with past acquisitions.
- Terribly wounded by the collapse of the American movie theater business.
- The theme parks are either completely closed up (the Anaheim park in California) or are hobbled by the pandemic such that the Florida park can only let in a bare third the number of paying customers.
- The growing risk is Disney could end up a purchase target for someone bigger (say, Apple).
- There's a lot of pissed off Star Wars fans who tell each other they'd like to see Disney pay the price for screwing up a franchise they loved.
On the pro side for a Disney future:
- Stockholder support and confidence is strong enough to weather the bad numbers despite a year with Covid19 running amok and 2021 possibly not being a lot better.
- With a vaccine on the way the theme parks could bounce back (that argument is in this article at Cinema Blend).
- Disney has already been willing to operate the parks at double the original capacities they were designed for in the past, so in a quick cash-grab (if America opens back up) they could follow the same plan and begin to repair the huge financial losses they've had to shoulder.
- Disney has pieces it can sell if they get desperate (provided that there are big enough buyers out there).
- Disney+ is having a lot of original programming thrown at it, especially the high-profile Marvel Comics' shows, so if they turn a significant number of all those "free" Disney+ subscriptions floating around into paying customers, they'll be on their way to replacing, though on a smaller scale than the blockbuster movies, a revenue stream that not only would churn cash each month with a (theoretically) stable or growing audience, but would be positioning Disney to be a dominate channel in the Streaming Wars, where (again, theoretically) a lot of potential money can be made well into the future.
- Disney has created a new hope in Star Wars fans with the positive reactions to The Mandalorian TV show.
Disney and Marvel:
Disney Buys Marvel Comics for $4 billion - 2009 The House of Mouse buys the House of Ideas
Disney spends $71.3 billion to get 21st Century Fox - March 2019
Original page December 28, 2020