Disney Hiding Star Wars Losses


Blink and you might miss it as Disney seems to be using a Jedi mind trick to hide the fact that their “Consumer Products & Interactive Media” division suffered losses for the past few years regarding their Star Wars and Marvel Comics brands.

Following Disney releasing their “Fiscal Year 2018 Annual Financial Report” revealing the Star Wars and Marvel Comics losses as part of their “Consumer Products & Interactive Media” division, the company has now filed an Exhibit that makes changes to its reporting results effective for the first quarter of fiscal 2019.

Among the changes includes that reports for the “Consumer Products & Interactive Media” division will now be paired with “Parks, Experiences,” to become “Parks, Experiences & Consumer Products.”

Essentially what this does, if you don’t look close enough, is it shows the “Parks, Experiences & Consumer Products” to have increased revenue each year, as the “Parks, Experiences” division offsets losses from their “Consumer Products & Interactive Media” division.

Have a look:

Here is the NEW segment reporting structure for 2018, 2017, 2016 that shows the “Parks, Experiences & Consumer Products” getting more revenue each year (note: asterisk is my own):

New Disney reporting structure for 2018, 2017, 2016

However, the PREVIOUS way of reporting by Disney listed the Consumer Products & Interactive Media division – which was the ONLY division to have revenue losses in 2018 – as being in its own category:

Old Disney reporting structure for 2018, 2017, 2016

Again, what the new reporting does is show that the “Parks, Experiences & Consumer Products” division has increased revenue each year, which is only due to the revenue for “Parks and Resorts” increasing each year, while in reality, the “Consumer Products” division keeps suffering losses.

Worth a mention is that the reporting still breaks down each segment, but in the “Parks, Experiences & Consumer Products” reporting, “Consumer Products & Interactive Media” is now “Merchandise licensing and retail.”

That’s not all as Disney has also created a new division, the “Direct-to-Consumer & International” division, which is made up of certain businesses taken from their previous divisions.

This chart lists the amount transferred where we see NOTHING is taken from “Parks & Resorts,” but businesses ARE taken from the previous “Consumer Products & Interactive Media” to be placed as part of their new “Direct-to-Consumer & International” division. This means that the numbers for the new “Parks, Experiences & Consumer Products” are even further offset.

Have a look:

Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International

As I went over in my previous report, sales for Disney Star Wars consumer products have dropped since 2015 and the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which is something that Disney consistently states in their financial reports. 

  • “The decrease in comparable store sales reflected lower sales of Star Wars and Moana merchandise in the current year…”
  • “The lower comparable store sales reflected decreased sales of Frozen and Star Wars merchandise, partially offset by sales of Moana merchandise in fiscal 2017.”
  • “The decrease in licensing revenue was due to lower revenues from products based on Star Wars and Frozen…”
  • “Lower home entertainment revenue was due to a decrease of 17% from a decline in unit sales driven by lower sales of Star Wars Classic titles and the performance of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in fiscal 2017 compared to the strong performance of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in fiscal 2016.”
  • “The increase in TV/SVOD distribution revenue was due to international growth and higher domestic rates, partially offset by a decrease due to a domestic sale of Star Wars Classic titles in fiscal 2016. Lower revenue share with the Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products segment was due to the stronger performance of merchandise based on Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Frozen in fiscal 2016, partially offset by Cars merchandise in fiscal 2017.”

Star Wars