Disney theme park attendance down 5%, company beat up on weak DVD sales

Posted Tuesday, February 3, 2009 10:55 PM | Contributed by Jeff

For the quarter ended Dec. 27, Disney reported net income of $845 million, or 45 cents a share, a 32 percent decline from $1.25 billion, or 63 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue fell 8 percent, to $9.6 billion. The company blames a 64% drop in studio income driven by weak DVD sales. Disney said spending at Disney World and Disneyland in the last part of 2008 was flat and spending at the company’s resort hotels was up modestly. Theme park attendance dropped just 5 percent, and they're extending the booking window for its promotional campaign for several months.

Read more from The New York Times.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009 11:32 PM

Disneysaid spending at Disney World and Disneyland in the last part of 2008was flat and spending at the company’s resort hotels was up modestly.

This surprises me. I would have expected spending to be down.

Last edited by Brian Noble, Tuesday, February 3, 2009 11:32 PM
Tuesday, February 3, 2009 11:45 PM

Yep, me too. In fact, it's what all of the analysts have been saying. And yet, the damage came from a completely different place. Just goes to show how complex a diverse company like Disney can be.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 10:11 AM

DVD sales are down? disney DVDs are way too expensive because the price of them never drops like other DVDs. People know this. Who wants to pay $25 for a movie that came out 30 years ago?

A 5% drop in attendance is not so bad for the state of the economy right now.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 10:20 AM

Who wants to pay $25 for a movie that came out 30 years ago?

People who have five year old kids, and old ratty VHS copies of Cinderella, etc.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 10:45 AM

Brian Noble said:

Who wants to pay $25 for a movie that came out 30 years ago?

People who have five year old kids, and old ratty VHS copies of Cinderella, etc.

My guess would be pirated and bootleg sales are going through the roof on this. It is surprising the number of times i get approaced by Great Northern, southpark and parmatown about buying bootlegs.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 11:13 AM

We've been making the DVD switch from some of our older VHS's. The only difference is that we buy these at places like Record Exchange and BuyBack$ at a discount, after someone else paid retail for it.

Of course, we SHOULD be doing Blu-Ray, but meh.

*Edit: It would be really nice if they could do without the 15 minutes worth of previews and ads, or at least let us use the menu button to bypass them. Especially when you have a 3-year-old that wants to watch these movies repeatedly.

~Rob Willi

Last edited by HeyIsntThatRob?, Wednesday, February 4, 2009 11:14 AM
Wednesday, February 4, 2009 11:26 AM

I suppose I could buy them ebay-style, but it's barely worth the effort when I can get them from Amazon for $15-$20, delivered. There are only a dozen or two of the "classics", plus the new release Pixars and maybe a few of the new WDFAs.

I don't hang in the right circles for bootleg offers, I'm afraid. Either that, or my spam filter catches them all.

I have a rack full of VHS tapes, and no working VCR. I suppose I should try to sell them for a few pennies each, but I'll probably just throw them out.

Last edited by Brian Noble, Wednesday, February 4, 2009 11:27 AM
Wednesday, February 4, 2009 11:27 AM

Pirated DVD's are a lot less of a problem in the US than other parts of the world. I doubt it has any real material effect on business.

The fact that Blu-Ray isn't really going anywhere to me shows that the studios need to start thinking ahead about changing their business model, or suffer the fate of the music industry. I personally buy fewer DVD's, dropped Netflix, but am happy to "rent" on AppleTV or Xbox Live.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 11:31 AM

I think this is the year Blu-Ray tips---this past shopping season was the first one where it had clearly "won" the format battle for HD media. But, I also think adoption will be slower than DVD was, because I'm not sure how fast HD sets have penetrated the market, or whether people have taken full advantage.

Our main TV is HD, but I've been dragging my feet about getting DirecTV's HD feed and don't really feel the need to upgrade my DVD player to a Blu-Ray. It looks okay now, except for a few things like sports, etc. and I can live with it. In fact, my multiswitch just died, and rather than upgrade to get it replaced "for free", I just ordered a replacement that I'll swap in myself for $20.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 11:55 AM

It really didn't win anything. HD-DVD died and then nothing happened. The only growth in HD media consumption (aside from satellite and cable) came from downloads.

And there's the really sad statistic that a majority of people who own HD capable TV's don't understand that it doesn't automagically make everything HD.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 2:34 PM

HD-DVD died and then nothing happened.

That doesn't mean nothing will, if enough consumers were waiting to see which one of the two would survive.

Time will tell, I suppose. Anyone have data on how many blu-ray players were purchased this holiday season?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 3:23 PM

I disagree. There is a "winner" and yet adoption hasn't picked up. Again, I think the fact that most consumers don't even know they're looking at HD and those who do have alternate content sources make for a compelling reason for Blu-Ray to go nowhere fast.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 5:16 PM

Perhaps, but it takes some time from "winner" to uptake---and that starts with players. That's why I'm wondering: what's the adoption rate for the players (as opposed to the discs).

But, I agree with you that consumers might not care. So far, I haven't cared enough to switch my service, and it's only an extra $10 a month.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 6:07 PM

Who knows on player sales, because Sony is always lumping in PlayStation 3 sales. Regardless, compared to DVD, I remember reading the sales around the holiday were basically a rounding error.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 6:42 PM

The problem with the DVD sales being down was that other than the october release of Wall-E, there really wasen't much to come out this past Christmas. Narnia 2 flopped... enough to cut production on the 3rd movie. It's too bad, because I liked the first one and the second was just "okay"

They did have a couple more like a revised Peter Pan (which was released on dvd 7 years ago) and a Little Mermaid direct-to-video, but other than than, not much there.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 7:55 PM

I haven't bothered with Blu-Ray yet because my DVD player upconverts to 720p, and my HD TV is only 720p, so why should I care that I don't have a player that shows 1020p on my 720p TV?

My cable company is in the process of switching to new owners. I really hope that they offer HD soon because if they don't, they are going to lose me to Dish Network or Direct TV. I'm tired of watching LOST in stadard definition.

I'll get a PS3 when the price comes down, and then I'll think about purchasing Blu-Ray disks, if the price is right. My cousin, who lives next door has a PS3. It is awesome, especially Rock Band and Americian Idol.

Someone picked up the third Narnia movie, John Peck. I think it was Fox. We can expect another movie.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 10:03 PM

LOST... In...Standard 480i?? Please tell me its not true!

1080i/p..Thats the only way to watch the beautiful colors of Hawaii..er.. The Island..

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 10:49 PM

I'll be on Kauai in April. Hopefully the place hasn't been all stunk up with Hollywood types.

Thursday, February 5, 2009 8:03 AM

Aww c'mon Jeff.. You are telling me you wont have the slightest hint of fanboi-ness if you ran into one of the LOST Actors/Actresses.. :)

Least they got rid of the alcoholic ones..


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