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article image'Frozen' heats up Disney's first-quarter profits

By Natty Walker     Feb 24, 2014 in Business
Disney's newest animated film, Frozen, turned out to be a bigger hit than expected. This and other company investments skyrocketed Disney's year-end profits, significantly surpassing analysts' projections.
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Already, Frozen has broken numerous animated movie records. While the film was still in theaters, it managed to surpass Finding Nemo as the highest grossing original animated film of all-time. The success doesn't end there, though, as a new sing-a-long version of the movie can soon be viewed in theaters across the United States. In addition, DVD and other home entertainment releases of Frozen are still months away. Toys, bedding, clothing, soundtracks, and other Frozen merchandise have added to Disney's unexpected profits from the film. Currently, Frozen has earned $865 million USD.
Against all odds, this untraditional Disney movie has been a huge success. Straying away from the classic fairytale storyline of young love, Frozen's focus was more on the bond between two sisters. Disney has never before placed such an emphasis on a sibling relationship as to make it the main plot of a feature film. Unlike most animated Disney movies, Frozen received limited marketing hype before its release. Most of the marketing propaganda focused on a minor character, Olaf, despite that character's insignificance to the plot.
Walt Disney Co.'s 2014 first fiscal quarter ended on December 28, 2013. The results were $12.3 billion, a gain of 9%. However, Frozen is not solely responsible for Disney's financial surge. Marvel, which is owned by Disney, premiered the movie Thor: The Dark World in theaters this winter. The film earned $633 million USD in theaters, which is $232 million USD less than Frozen. Disney's other media outlets, including ESPN and Disney Channel, also earned increased profits in 2013. Sales at the company's theme parks and resorts increased by 6%.
According to Robert Iger, Disney's chairman and CEO, "We had an incredibly strong first quarter, delivering a 32% increase in adjusted earnings per share and double-digit increases in operating income in all business segments." Iger further explained, "These results reflect the strength of our unprecedented portfolio of brands, a constant focus on creativity and innovation, and the continued success of our long-term strategy."
Half of the 20 top grossing films of all-time were produced by Disney, Marvel, Pixar, or Lucasfilm. Iger revealed his theory of Disney's movie dominance by saying, "Our ability to leverage the success of these characters and franchises across the company and the world is significant and will only grow in significance." By the end of 2013, Disney's film division alone increased 23% in revenue, earning $1.9 billion USD.
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