Disney recorded a total of $ 4.3 billion in streaming revenue, up 57 percent from the previous year. The monthly price for a Disney + subscription in the US rose by $ 1 to $ 8 in late March. Disney + also generated tens of millions of dollars with “Cruella,” which was made available to subscribers for an additional $ 30 in May, around the same time the film was released. Hulu, which acquired Disney in 2019, benefited from higher ad revenue and subscriber growth.
According to Disney, Hulu had about 42.8 million subscribers, up 21 percent from the previous year. About 15 million people pay to access the company’s ESPN + platform, 75 percent more than last year.
However, building a portfolio of streaming services is very expensive. A variety of costs (content production, marketing, technology infrastructure) contributed to losses of approximately $ 300 million for Disney’s streaming unit. Nevertheless, the division lost twice as much in the same period last year.
Citing the pandemic that has devastated the cinema business, Disney recently changed its film distribution methods. Some films that were originally intended to be shown in theaters – especially animated films – have been redirected entirely to Disney +. Others were made available on Disney + when they opened in theaters, a practice the company brought to war-based with at least one big star and their agents.
Scarlett Johansson, who played superassassin Black Widow in eight films, sued Disney this month, claiming that the launch of “Black Widow” on Disney + when it opened in theaters “dramatically” reduced box office revenues, which she did I cost tens of millions of dollars in bonus payment. Her lawsuit drew a glowing response from Disney.
Mr Chapek made only indirect comments on Ms Johansson’s complaint on Thursday.
“This is certainly a time of fear in the marketplace,” he said in response to an analyst question about Disney’s movie release strategy. “These films, which we are currently releasing, were presented in a very different environment than what unfortunately fate has given us. But we try to do the best for all of our constituents and make sure that everyone who works in the value chain feels, so to speak, that their contractual obligations are being met from both a sales and compensation perspective. “
The company will continue to decide “film by film” how films are released, said Chapek. “We value flexibility,” he says.