You've gotta love Disney
The Little Mermaid recently made its debut on DVD in a special collector's edition. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the product moved 4 million discs in its initial seven days of release. By comparison, News Corp.'s
I don't know about you, but that says something to me. Consider that The Little Mermaid was released to theaters back in the late '80s and has had a previous run on video. Plus, there was a direct-to-video sequel of the film several years ago. The world has been amply exposed to the Mermaid mythology, yet Disney can pull off a successful release in 2006. As a shareholder, I'm thankful.
But before this turns into a cheerleading session for the Mouse, let me say that the company has its work cut out for it. After all, will a collector's release of Chicken Little and/or The Wild foster the same kind of excitement 20 years down the line? It's difficult to say. We all know that the big story in Disney animation has been, for a long time now, the Pixar brand. Now that Disney and Pixar have intermingled their respective corporate DNAs, the fact that Pixar has outshone Disney in the generation of animated classics-in-the-making is no longer such a shadow -- indeed, it arguably strengthens Bob Iger in his quest to outshine DreamWorks Animation
Whether that happens or not remains to be seen. But with Disney selling 80% of the number of DVD discs that X-Men sold in a week's timeframe is encouraging in terms of the Disney library operation. Going forward, these classic releases will have a chance to sell millions more when the next format wave finally hits us; Sony's
Disney's stock is doing well this year; the upcoming holiday season will be, at least in part, helped along by The Little Mermaid brand. That should please investors and encourage them to stick with Disney a little longer. The stock hasn't been a great investment over the past few years, but with so many positive developments lately -- from Pirates of the Caribbean to High School Musical -- shareholders should feel some encouragement.
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