The popularity of films like Finding Dory has helped Walt Disney post better-than-expected quarterly results. The entertainment giant reported a 9% rise in revenue to $14.2bn. Disney also said it had bought 33% stake in a video streaming company, BAMTech, for $1bn.
The Jungle Book and Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War helped propel revenues for Disney. Finding Dory had the most successful launch for an animated film in US box office history when it opened in June, making $136.2m in its first weekend. Disney’s parks and resorts division reported a 6% rise in revenue despite increased cost from the launch of its first park in China and decrease in visitor numbers in France.
In June the company opened Shanghai Disney and is already planning an expansion to handle more visitors by 2021. Revenue at Disney’s cable TV networks rose 1.4% to $4.2bn in the quarter, with a modest gain for sports network ESPN.
The stake in BAMTech, which was once part of Major League Baseball’s media business, reflects Disney’s attempt to reflect viewers’ changing habits. It will develop a multi-sport subscription streaming service with BAMTech.
Disney chief executive Bob Iger said the firm would work with BAMTech to “explore new ways to deliver the unmatched content of the Walt Disney Company across a variety of platforms”.
Disney will have the option to buy a majority stake in the future. BAMTech’s platforms serve nearly 7.5 million paid subscribers for customers including HBO’s streaming platform.