IF true, Disney is in much worse shape than I thought.
During the last earnings call, there was repeated references by Disney’s management to “pent-up expectations” regarding Disney Parks. Basically, they had convinced themselves that the moment the parks reopened they would be flooded with happy Pixie Dusters emptying their wallets.
It hasn’t worked out that way.
Not at all.
Walt Disney World is basically empty.
Either everyone is too terrified of catching the plague, or they just don’t want to wear a mask in hot-ass Florida in hot-ass July.
From known Disney insider WDW pro:
“The Disney company is currently hurting for cash, and not by a little. The absolute destruction of the global film industry means that Disney is losing billions and billions of usual expected revenues with no certain end in sight. Mulan has been pushed to the end of August, but even that still seems optimistic and likely box office revenues may be as low as 20% of what it could have been. A burgeoning Cold War with China likewise makes promoting the film an uncertain formula. The MCU is currently benched, live action Star Wars is on pause, Indiana Jones 5 is more unlikely daily, and there is simply no good path forward outside of the animation studios. Furthering the dearth of income, is Disneyland was prepped to reopen at great expense, only to be indefinitely postponed yet again. The money to reopen Walt Disney World has been immense, but with increasing covid infections in Florida, it seems more and more likely that increasing capacity will be a slow process, which means revenues for WDW will be lower than projected when the rush was approved to get the parks open fast. Adding to this, capex projects meeting completing at WDW are substantial, more than ever in the past decade. Conflict has broken out inside Disney’s top levels with some pushing for continued spending in new projects, such as splash mountain reskinning, while others are extremely bearish with the view that Disney should hold every possible dollar. The cost of maintaining parks during a pandemic are significantly higher, yet raising ticket prices is nearly impossible.“
None of this is really a surprise. Anybody looking at the company from the outside could tell what was going on .
But here is some news that I was not aware of :
“The Trump administration has dropped the hammer on the Walt Disney company. First, there was an executive order in regard to Hong Kong which can absolutely affect Disney employees and Disney company plans. Attorneys for the company are currently reading through the executive order and seeking guidance from the trump administration as to how the company can avoid seizure of assets properties due to potentially aiding in the harming of Hong Kong citizens Democratic rights via indirect means because of the broad and non specific language in the executive order, Hong Kong Disney may stay closed indefinitely, regardless of the COVID situation there. Furthermore, in a speech on July 16th, Attorney General Barr made headlines with a speech in which he disclosed the number of Chinese Communist party officials working in Shanghai Disney management, including a number who have communist Insignia on their desks.
This sent a ripple through the Disney company as they realized that US intelligence has inside information about their Shanghai operations, and are confident enough to release that information. This puts the company in an exceedingly difficult place: stray from China’s demands and everything can be taken like in the NBA situation . Act in China’s interests and the US Justice Department may now come calling. Numbers inside the company now project that cash revenues could hit as low as 6 billion by the end of September, with the possibility of this pandemic situation going into mid 2021 this is an unsustainable path.
Against the wishes of Iger, a plan is being developed inside the halls that Eisner built which would allow for Disney to sell and divests its interests in Shanghai and Hong Kong resorts in a preemptive move to avoid losing them outright due to a possible Cold War between the USA and China. It is the Red Button Option.“
Shang Hai was Iger’s pride and joy. And it is or perhaps, was, a vital component of Disney’s long range strategy in China. Cutting and running from that means that everything is potentially on the block. Nothing is safe from sale or spin-off.
And the fact that there are elements within the company’s leadership that want to prioritize the reskinning of Spash Mountain strongly indicates that Disney’s leadership is so badly infested with SJWs that they are borderline incapable of fulfilling Disney’s primary functions.