Report: Disney Movies Losing More Money Than Ever

in Disney

A serene twilight sky backs the iconic fairy tale castle as the luminous walt disney pictures logo takes center stage.

Credit: Disney

It’s official: the Walt Disney Company is losing money making movies.

Disney's Snow White looking terrified against a background of green eyes
Credit: Disney

Ever since it kicked off with its first feature film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Walt Disney Pictures has dominated the film industry. There have been times that it lost ground, like the era in which The Black Cauldron (1985) nearly wrecked things, but that has always led to a resurgence, like the 1990s Disney Renaissance, which brought the triumphs of Beauty and the Beast (1991), Aladdin (1992), and The Lion King (1994).

Things aren’t quite the same in the new millennium, it turns out. While Walt Disney Pictures has historically been one of the major money makers for the company as a whole, it seems that the advent of streaming and the colossal failure of Disney+ to make even a tiny bit of profit has been a downer.

Streaming service synergy: hulu, disney+, and espn+ logos intertwined with colorful dynamic lines against a dark blue background.
Credit: Disney

Related: “Not a Profitable Business”: Bob Iger Reveals Future of Failing Disney+

A new report from the L.A. Times reveals that not only is the movie and film branch of the Walt Disney Company failing to bring in money for the company, it has been reduced to a fraction of its previous importance. According to the report, the vast amount of revenue brought in by Disney currently comes from theme parks like the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando and Disneyland in Anaheim, with only a slim portion coming from media.

Apparently, “the company’s experiences division — which is heavily anchored by the parks — brought in about 70% of Disney’s operating income,” while the “entertainment division, consisting of the company’s TV channels, streaming services and movie studios, brought up the rear at 11%.”

Crowds on Main Street U.S.A. at Disney World with Cinderella Castle in the background
Credit: Forsaken Fotos, Flickr

This is even more notable, considering:

“Those numbers represent a stark contrast from even 10 years ago, when the company was heavily reliant on its TV networks, which brought in 56% of Disney’s operating income (that segment included ESPN at the time). The parks and resorts division drew just 20%.”

In some ways, it seems improbable that the Walt Disney Company, which owns Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm (and with it, the rights to Star Wars and Indiana Jones), Pixar, and much more, cannot seem to make money off of its movies and TV shows.

Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in 'Dial of Destiny' (2023)
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: 20-Year-Old Universal Film Destroys Disney at the Box Office

But, at the same time, it is undeniable that Disney films like Wish (2023), The Marvels (2023), and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023) simply aren’t crushing at the box office like they were expected to. Rival studios like Warner Bros. Discovery have been overtaking the Mouse in terms of grosses, and it turns out that, no matter what Bob Iger wants, Disney+ just stubbornly refuses to make money.

It may be that eventually Disney only has its Parks to turn a profit. At least, that’s what the numbers say.

Do you think Disney is in financial trouble? Tell us in the comments below!

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