Tuesday 6 August 2019 10:07 pm

Cryin' King: Disney investors tearful despite box office hits

Record $8bn (£6.6bn) box office takings did not spare Disney investors from taking a hit last night as the company missed expectations.

Shares dropped five per cent in after-hours trading as operating losses widened to $553m from $168 a year ago. It comes as the firm increased spending on ESPN Plus and built Disney Plus, a streaming service to rival Netflix.

Read more: What do we know about Disney’s streaming service?

Disney’s earnings per share hit $1.35, excluding some items, below analysts’ expectations of $1.75, according to data from Refinitiv.

Earlier this year Disney bought 21st Century Fox’s TV and film assets for $71bn, earning it a large catalogue of films for its new streaming site, which will charge $2 less than Netflix.

Revenue rose 33 per cent to $20.25bn, while analysts had expected $21.47bn.

Read more: Stranger Things vs Mickey Mouse: How the media old guard is adapting to disruption

"I'd like to congratulate The Walt Disney Studios for reaching $8 billion at the global box office so far this year--a new industry record--thanks to the stellar performance of our Marvel, Pixar and Disney films," said chair and chief executive Robert Iger.

"The incredible popularity of Disney's brands and franchises positions us well as we launch Disney Plus, and the addition of original and library content from Fox will only further strengthen our direct-to-consumer offerings."