Mars Needs Moms Flop Drags Down Disney
While a single blockbuster movie can lift a media conglomerate's earnings dramatically, the latest quarterly earnings report from the Walt Disney Co. indicates that a single big-budget flop can pull it down just as dramatically. Such was the case with the failure of Disney's Mars Needs Moms, which cost $150 million to produce but earned just $37 million at the box office -- worldwide. In a conference call on Tuesday, Disney CFO James Rasulo noted that comparisons were particularly tough given the fact that a year ago the studio released two of the year's biggest hits -- Alice in Wonderland and Toy Story 4 . This year's box office reversal pushed profits for Disney's studio entertainment unit down 65 percent, an amount that today's (Wednesday) Los Angeles Times described as "staggering." On the other hand Disney reported significant growth in its broadcast and cable units, led by cable sports network ESPN which reported record figures, due in large part to rising ratings for its NBA telecasts.