has surpassed $120 million at the domestic box office and should prove to be a favorite children's DVD for years to come. It also showed both Pixar
Now, we have the magic of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. According to estimates at Boxofficemojo.com, the fantasy film grossed $67 million over its pilot weekend at domestic auditoriums. Globally, the site reports about another $40 million in ticket sales, bringing the initial worldwide gross above the $100 million mark.
Many observers want to compare Narnia to either of Time Warner's
I view Narnia as another attempt at celluloidic cloning, piggybacking the success of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter just like Pearl Harbor was influenced by James Cameron's Titanic. Pearl Harbor opened with a $59 million gross back in 2001, and that was in the summertime. It eventually snared about $450 million around the globe. I hope Narnia has legs strong enough to best this number; we'll have to wait until next weekend to see what the dropoff turns out to be. The competition will be tough, since General Electric's
There's no question that this box-office result is good news for shareholders. After all, we weren't too happy about the loss that the studio operating segment had to endure in the latest quarter. But 2006 promises to be a better box office year for the Mouse, with Pixar's Cars and the first of two sequels to Pirates of the Caribbean scheduled to hit the multiplexes.
Narnia alone probably won't raise the stock too much, since Disney is a large conglomerate. But here's something for shareholders to remember: The company recently raised its dividend by more than 12%. Last year, Disney upped the payment by 14%. If the dividends continue a financially rational march upwards, then perhaps the stagnation in the capital price can be forgiven for a little while longer. I have a feeling, though, that many want new CEO Bob Iger to finally make next year be the year of Disney, and for such glamour to be reflected in the share price.
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