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Stocks finish mixed, Walmart falls 8% after disappointing profits

Disney does not let go of “Frozen” while the box office is in difficulty

Disney (DIS) CEO Bob Iger revealed that “Frozen 4” could be in production just months after the company confirmed that a third installment in the “Frozen” franchise would also be arriving in theaters.

“‘Frozen 3’ is in the works and there might be a ‘Frozen 4’ as well,” Iger said in an interview with Good Morning America on Thursday. “I don’t have much to say about these films at the moment. (Director) Jenn Lee, who created the original ‘Frozen’ and ‘Frozen 2,’ is working hard with her team of Disney animation on not one but actually two stories.”

The news comes as Disney has struggled at the box office with its recent live-action film “The Marvels,” which grossed a dismal $47 million domestically during its opening weekend. opening – the worst performance in MCU franchise history.

Stocks have lagged the broader markets, up about 8% year to date, compared to the S&P 500’s (^GSPC) 17% gain over the same period.

Analysts warn that the company’s content business will likely continue to struggle in 2024.

“I don’t think the studio will be a driver that helps Disney grow over the next 18 months,” said Doug Creutz, an analyst at TD Cowen. “I don’t think it’s going to get worse, but I don’t think it’s going to get better either.”

Disney is lagging behind its competitors at the box office, even though it was once the industry leader. Marvel, in particular, has struggled as a franchise since 2019’s “Endgame.” Creutz blamed the results on oversaturation and a decline in FOMO, or fear of missing out, on the part of the consumer.

“There was a lot of FOMO where it was like, ‘Man, if I miss this Marvel movie, then I’m going to miss something important,'” Creutz told Yahoo Finance. “The problem with FOMO is that if people’s demand gets too high, they won’t go see it,” he said, adding that he was not surprised that “The Marvels” failed, especially given the harsh reviews.

“Marvel asked a lot of audiences and they did it at a time when the quality wasn’t there because they were trying to do too many different things,” he continued. “So here we are. (Disney) now has to try to fix what’s broken.”

But it’s not just Marvel. Disney’s animation business has also underperformed, particularly compared to competitors like Universal (CMCSA) and Sony (SONY).

Creutz said demand for animation “definitely declined” after the pandemic, due to the excess of children’s content on streaming platforms like Disney+. He added: “The only animated films that have done well since the pandemic have been big sequels. … Disney’s pipeline didn’t contain any sequels.”

Perhaps the upcoming “Frozen” sequels could put Disney’s box office back on top.

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