Disney Earnings Take a Hit Following ‘Dark Phoenix’ Bomb

Not even the superheroes of the Marvel universe could shield the Walt Disney Co., which took a surprising blow to its earnings this week as the studio contended with its monster Fox acquisition as well as losses from Fox’s Dark Phoenix, the latest X-Men movie that was a major box-office bomb.

Disney reported fiscal third-quarter earnings per share of $1.35 on revenue of $20.25 billion, both of which missed analyst expectations.

The entertainment giant cited the integration of most of 21st Century Fox’s assets that Disney recently acquired in a historic $71 billion deal.


Disney also cited “a loss from theatrical distribution driven by the performance of Dark Phoenix.” The Fox movie, released in June,  grossed a disappointing $65.8 million domestically, though foreign ticket sales pushed its worldwide gross to $252.4 million.

“We’re all confident that we can turn around the fortunes of Fox live action,” said Chairman and CEO Bob Iger in Tuesday’s earnings call.

Disney also cited increased investment in the ESPN+ and the forthcoming Disney+ digital streaming platforms. Iger said Tuesday that the company will offer a $12.99 per month subscription bundle featuring Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu.

The company is seeking to take on Netflix, whose standard subscription level also costs $12.99 per month.

Shares of Disney fell in after-hours trading Tuesday but have since rebounded.

Disney remains Hollywood’s biggest theatrical force, with such recent box-office hits as Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame and Pixar’s Toy Story 4, as well as remakes of The Lion King and Aladdin.