It's a new year for Walt Disney (DIS 0.49%). After a disappointing 2021 -- fundamentally the media giant did fine, but the shares did decline nearly 15% last year -- the worst performer in the Dow 30 is ready to bounce back in 2022.
Disney's always busy, and it's not going to hibernate through January. From a popular theme park reopening to highly anticipated releases there's a lot coming soon at Disney. Let's take a closer look.
The only Disney gated attraction that has yet to reopen since the pandemic -- Walt Disney World's Typhoon Lagoon -- is getting back in business this weekend. Typhoon Lagoon was the country's most visited water park in 2019, its last full year of operation. It was also the world's second most popular water park.
Florida's resort is the only place where Disney operates a theme park, and it actually has two in the Sunshine State. It only reopened Blizzard Beach in March, but it's closing that park down for refurbishment when Typhoon Lagoon reopens on Sunday. A combination of staffing concerns and consumer demand is probably keeping Disney to having just one theme park open at a time, but if things go well it wouldn't be a surprise to see both watery escapes open at the same time in a few months when the weather starts to heat up.
This is a relatively slow month for Disney in terms of theatrical releases, but one of note will be Deep Water. The film starring Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas is being billed as an erotic psychological thriller, as the two play a married couple that have fallen out of love. They play mind games with one another, and a body count ensues.
This isn't an organic Disney production. It's part of the slate of content that the media stock picked up with its 20th Century Fox acquisition. Expectations aren't as high for this flick as the superhero and sci-fi fare that Disney will be putting out later this year, but there's always the chance for a sleeper hit. All cards are off the table if COVID-19 cases intensify to the point that folks aren't hitting up the local multiplex.
Disney+ is a big part of the growth thesis for the House of Mouse. The platform launched in late 2019, and it's already at more than 118 million accounts worldwide. Disney has said that it doesn't expect the platform to become profitable until fiscal 2024, but its popularity has given Disney a new revenue stream.
There are a couple of new shows and movies coming to Disney+ this month. If you missed Marvel's Eternals at the movie theater in November you can start catching on Disney+ starting Jan. 12. You'll also get fresh weekly installments of the new The Book of Boba Fett series every Wednesday. Young families may be circling Jan. 28 on the calendar as that is when The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild hits the platform. The film is a spinoff of the computer animated Ice Age franchise. If you're thinking that you don't recall Ice Age as a Disney property, you're right. It's another franchise that Disney inherited when it acquired the 20th Century Fox catalog.