The company revealed that as a result of the coronavirus pandemic it took in just $11.8 billion in revenue and $1 billion in operating income in the three-month period that ended in June, the height of lockdowns in the country. The numbers are a significant drop from the same period a year ago, when it generated $20.25 billion in revenue and $4 billion in operating income, among the worst slides of the modern era.
The earnings report for the fiscal third-quarter gave numeric form to what had been the sense of many in the entertainment and financial communities: Disney, once the high-flying giant of Hollywood, has been brought low by the virus, its creations often unable to be produced or consumed.
Not a surprise. But Disney will survive the pandemic.
Theme parks saw a plummet from $6.58 billion to $983 million, a plunge of 85 percent. No American or European park was open in the quarter, while parks in Shanghai and Hong Kong re-opened only midway during the period.
Equally concerning for Disney have been the few rays of theme-park light since the quarter ended. The company re-opened Disney World in Florida last month to begin rebuilding its revenue pipeline. But chief financial officer Christine McCarthy acknowledged the move has not panned out as hoped.
“The upside we’re seeing is less than we originally expected given the surge of covid-19 in Florida,” she told analysts.
Disney chief executive Bob Chapek said that the park has experienced a “higher-than-expected level of cancellations” as people decide not to travel to Orlando because of the virus.
So at least some people in this country aren’t complete idiots. Good, I was beginning to seriously wonder. I’m not sure why Disney World is still open; I guess making something is better than nothing on theme parks, although whatever small amount they’re making in Florida doesn’t seem worth the risk to guests and cast members.