The Walt Disney Company just posted its fiscal Q2 earnings report, and the magic is flowing even more than usual, thanks to huge gains in the company’s movie and theme parks units. The phenomenal success of Black Panther helped drive total revenue of $14.55 billion, easily beating a Thomson Reuters estimate of $14.11 billion.
Disney’s “studio entertainment” unit reported a 29% boost in operating income compared to the same period last year, while its “parks and resorts” unit saw operating income rise 27%. On the flip side, Disney’s largest unit, “media networks,” saw a 6% decline in operating income for the quarter.
The results are further proof that Disney will need to rely more heavily on revenue from outside the television business as cord cutting accelerates and ESPN—Disney’s once-great sports powerhouse—sees its fortunes dwindle. To that end, theme parks have proven a rich vein for the mouse house in recent quarters, with the company figuring out ways to squeeze more revenue out of each guest at Walt Disney World and its other resorts.
“Guest spending growth was due to increases in average ticket prices, average daily hotel room rates, and food, beverage, and merchandise spending,” the company said in today’s earnings statement.
On the studio side, the February release of Black Panther—which has grossed more than $1.3 billion to date—will obviously be tough to replicate, but the opportunity for sequels and crossover Marvel hits is practically endless.
In the meantime, can a Wakanda theme park be far off? Your move, Bob Iger.