Disney Culture War: Mouse is Profit Powerhouse Despite GOP Nonsense

Disney’s strong 2nd quarter reassured investors rattled by Netflix, and should tell conservatives how their own antics are playing

Disney’s second-quarter earnings report, released Wednesday afternoon, exceeded analysts’s expectations, with strong results in three key areas: domestic theme parks, streaming, and TV advertising, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Revenue for the fiscal second quarter was $19.3 billion, a 23 percent year over year increase. That includes a $1 billion reduction from the early termination of some licensing agreements, according to CNBC.

Disney added added 7.9 million subscribers to its Disney+ streaming service, which was 52% above what analysts had projected. This was a relief to investors who have been waiting with bated breath for Disney’s updated streaming numbers, after receiving an unpleasant shock after Netflix recently announced it had lost 200,000 subscribers.

Most notably to some, Disney’s Parks, Experience, and Products division generated a total revenue of $6.7 billion—more than double compared to the same period this year. Domestic theme park revenue, at $4.9 billion, almost matched pre-pandemic peaks.

This, despite a frantic war waged by conservatives against the Mouse House because Disney boss Bob Chapek condemned, if a bit tardily, Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law and declared that the corp. would “pause” all political spending in the state, which is home to Walt Disney World, one of Florida’s biggest employers.

Though still a recent phenomenon, the conservative crusade against the purveyor of cartoons and fun rides has already included, but by no means has been limited to, a call to boycott all things Disney, a U.S. Senator trying to pull the copyright on Mickey Mouse, an attempt to yank the no-fly zones over Disney’s parks, and, of course, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ quest to see Walt Disney World lose its self-governance, except that his state can’t afford it.

However, the good money news came with the caveat that Disney’s theme parks in Asia are still vulnerable to the effects of Covid, Chief Financial Officer Christine McCarthy said on Wednesday’s earnings call. Outbreaks could close its Asian destinations and eat into third-quarter operating income, McCarthy warned analysts.

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