As the last quarterly report indicated, Disney (NYSE:DIS) has been doing well in its consumer product, theme park, and broadcast/cable segments, while its studio division needs some momentum. The latest attempt to provide some studio spark is a remake of a classic comedy, The Shaggy Dog, in which Tim Allen portrays the titular canine. Does Disney have a spring hit on its corporate hands? Let's see what the numbers might tell us.

According to, The Shaggy Dog is estimated to have taken in approximately $16 million at domestic theaters this past weekend, coming in at No. 2 behind Viacom's (NYSE:VIA) Failure to Launch. News Corp.'s (NYSE:NWS) youth-targeted horror flick The Hills Have Eyes, also a remake, currently stands at No. 3 for the weekend at $15.5 million. (These numbers and rankings reflect only estimates and could change once the final numbers are divulged later today.)

It's certainly not an abject miss, but I can't quite call The Shaggy Dog a bona fide hit. It could go on to become a sleeper, but I was nevertheless looking for a bigger bark at the box office. The other thing that stings is that the Disney flick was in more locations than News Corp.'s exercise in gore. And that gave News Corp. an advantage in terms of per-theater revenues.

The story was different at this time last year, when Vin Diesel's family flick The Pacifier opened north of $30 million. I'm actually quite surprised that Allen, in contrast, wasn't able to bring in more of the family audience, considering his success with the Santa Clause franchise. It would have been nice if The Shaggy Dog had rocked the multiplexes, since the third installment of Allen's Christmas series is due to hit theaters this fall in time for the holiday season -- it would have provided a nice boost to that project's fortunes.

Disney still has some aces up its sleeve for its studio division. The company recently issued a press release touting the appeal of its Bambi sequel, which moved 2.6 million DVDs during its initial week of release. Chicken Little and The Chronicles of Narnia will soon see their video bows. And don't forget, since Disney will shortly own Pixar (NASDAQ:PIXR), it should benefit even further from the summer release of the computer cartoon Cars. Let's hope we see some Nemo numbers on that one.

The disappointing showing for The Shaggy Dog is just how it goes sometimes in Tinseltown. Bob Iger is making enormous strides in positioning Disney to take full advantage of trends such as video-on-demand, iPod video players, and quicker video releases -- but he must remember that a consistently great film slate is the only way to take full advantage of these new paradigms.

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Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns shares of Disney. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.