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How much is the pandemic costing to Disney?

The company announced a drop in profits up to 90%

How much is the pandemic costing to Disney? The company announced a drop in profits up to 90%

A few days ago The Walt Disney Company shared its numbers and data from the first trimester of the year, closed on March 31st, 2020. The company announced declining profits of -90%. According to analysts, Disney is losing $30 million per day, which means almost a billion per month. Despite the success of Disney+, that in less than 6 months reached more than 50 million users worldwide, the company's income depends on different entertainment industries that have been dramatically afflicted by the COVID-19 emergency: without sports, cruises and amusement parks, Disney is struggling with an unprecedented crisis. 

In 2019 Disney was at its best: it gained 1/3 of all the American cinematographic incomes with movies as Avengers: Endgame, Aladdin live-action and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, it purchased the rival company 20th Century Fox and launched its own very first streaming platform, becoming Netflix's most feared competitor. In the past years, the company invested billions in purchasing many other rival companies like Marvel and LucasFilm: 2020 was supposed to be a fundamental year to finally consecrate its domain on the market and its cultural hegemony (like it or not, Disney owns almost everything you like). Of course, the forced stop of its Studios does take a toll, since the company is now struggling with a streaming service for which it can't produce any new content, but there is a lot more than cinema beyond Disney. The biggest part of its incomes, in fact, depends on tourism and sports

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Disney was forced to close all the 14 theme parks that usually welcomed almost 157 million people every year; on the same spot, it had to stop all its cruise ships and the private island in the Caribbeans (Castaway Cay), as well as the construction sites for the second one that was already costing billions. On top of this, Disney owns many television channels as ABC and especially ESPN, the cable sports channel live 24/7 that suffered from the cancellation of all sports events. Plus, with no new contents for its television channels, Disney also lost all advertising revenues. To not even mention all the hotels and multi-proprieties, nor the editorial ventures or the losses in the industry of merchandising (worth $55 billion per year). 

The measures to face this situation were drastic: the company blocked every production and "froze" thousands of employees, especially from the theme parks, who received their last salary on April 19th, 2020. Furthermore, Disney announced a 50% cut from its executives' salaries, while former CEO Bob Iger (who has been defined “the last Hollywood tycoon”) completely gave up his compensation. 

In a year that was essential to state its cultural and economical value, Disney is facing the biggest crisis ever seen since its foundation. Still, the company is optimistic: Disney+ recently released the first short movie with a gay character and will soon release Artemis Fowl by Kenneth Branagh and a special concert by Taylor Swift. On July 11th, 2020 it is scheduled the re-opening of Disney World in Orlando, Florida, including face masks, thermometers and all the right measures for social distance. Plus, rumour has it that Disney World will also host the ending matches of NBA 2019/2020 season. Finally, on May 11, 2020, it re-opened Shangai's Disney Resort and the public response was encouraging. If the situation will get worst, the company just need to keep in mind its traditional motto: “If you can dream it, you can do it.”