Rick Munarriz writes a piece at the Motley Fool entitled, Theme Parks Fail Disney at the Worst Possible Time. In it he writes:
The media giant experiences a rare dip in domestic park attendance and an even more problematic slide in the segment’s operating margin.
It was the turnstile click heard around the world. Disney (NYSE:DIS) posted disappointing financial results on Tuesday afternoon, and one of its biggest shortcomings came at the theme park level. The media giant’s domestic gated attractions experienced a rare decline in overall visitors despite benefiting from the timing of the Easter holiday and the Disneyland opening of its most anticipated expansion in 20 years.
Florida won’t get Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opening officially until later this month, but Disneyland’s 14-acre expansion has been up and running since late May. I checked it out for three consecutive days late last week, surprised that the immersive Star Wars-themed area seemed less crowded than the rest of the park.
None of the normal people who saw all of this coming immediately after the release of The Force Awakens are surprised one bit.
It could be that there’s just one ride available, with the more ambitious Rise of the Resistance attraction still months away from completion.
Or it could be that The Last Jedi was so awful, and the misbehavior of Lucasfilm representatives was so terrible, that it drove fans and potential paying customers away. But it’ll take a good decade before SJWs are capable of processing that realization.
However, even CEO Bob Iger’s initial stance that Disney wouldn’t have to do much in terms of marketing to get the word out has changed. I ran into a pair of billboards heading out of a rival theme park last week.
Disney CEO Bob Iger on marketing Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge earlier this year: Maybe I should just tweet “It’s opening” and that will be enough.
Me as I exit Universal Studios Hollywood an hour’s drive away: pic.twitter.com/nP6vVN9wxF
— Rick Munarriz (@Market) August 7, 2019
That’s Bob “hubris” Iger for ya.
The only thing that is more problematic than the weaker-than-expected 7% increase in its parks, experiences, and products division revenue is that segment operating income grew at a weaker 4% pace. Margins had been widening consistently for the segment. You have to go all the way back to fiscal 2010 to find a year in which the segment’s operating income didn’t outpace its revenue growth. Higher wages and beefy investments in new attractions work if guest counts are climbing, as this is a scalable business with high fixed costs. The math gets cruel when Disney overplays its hand.
Disney will get this right. It always does.
Ha! It’s about to make the same stubborn mistakes with the MCU. A company run by SJWs isn’t capable of learning from mistakes. It’s not ever going to get it right.
Disney World’s opening later this month should prove more popular than Disneyland’s debut. Attendance will bounce back and the segment’s operating margin will improve, even if Disney has to twist some of the promotional screws that it didn’t think it would need. There’s a lot riding on the success of Disney’s theme parks.
Hey, remember when everyone was claiming that Solo would do big numbers at the box office, and Galaxy’s Edge would be packed like a can of sardines? Good times!
Thanks to Toxic Discerning Film Fan for the tip.