Disney's Awful Movies Killed The Quarter

Disney’s quarterly revenues may only have been down 7% year-over-year, but its studio entertainment division (the one that releases its movies) saw a 21% year-over-year revenue drop during the quarter — the company’s second for its 2009 fiscal year.

In fact, on their investor conference call, Disney execs said that their disappointing movie slate was the largest driver of their revenue decline.

We’re not surprised. Disney’s movies—including the poorly timed Confessions of a Shopaholic—haven’t done so well this year, leaving the studio with a lot of ground to make up this summer if they want to remain competitive with their rivals.

(See what all of the major studios have at stake this summer here.)

How bad did Disney’s films do at the U.S. box office this quarter*? Take a look:

  • Bedtime Stories: $110 million on an $80 million budget.
  • Confessions of A Shopaholic: $43.2 million (budget unknown)
  • The Jonas Brothers: The 3-D Concert Experience: $19.2 million (budget unknown) [Interestingly, this was the only movie Disney failed to mention on its conference call as performing poorly in the quarter, even though it did worse than all of its other films during the period.]
  • Race to Witch Mountain: $49.2 million (budget unknown)

And as Disney noted, those films didn’t do as well as Q2 2008 titles National Treasure 2 ($218.3 million US), Enchanted ($127.7 million on an $85 million budget) and the Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus 3-D concert film ($64.9 million).

Disney’s DVDs released during the quarter (High School Musical 3, Beverly Hills Chihuahua and Bolt) also didn’t sell as well as last year’s Q2 titles (Enchanted, The Game Plan and No Country For Old Men).

The Mouse House said it’s expecting a similar Q3 from its studio entertainment division, purely due to a disappointing slate of DVD releases (the movies that bombed at the box office this quarter). But, unsurprisingly, Bob Iger and his CFO Tom Staggs said they’re psyched about their upcoming slate, including this summer’s Pixar 3-D movie Up, The Proposal, and G-Force and upcoming titles The Princess and the Frog, A Christmas Carol, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Prince of Persia, Toy Story 3, Alice in Wonderland, Tron and Pirates of the Caribbean 4. It’s a shame that most of the movies in that last batch won’t be released until 2010, at the earliest.

*We used domestic figures because several of these titles are still unspooling internationally, and it was impossible to compute how much they’d done globally by March 27.

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