Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn, who oversees worldwide operations for the company, has extended his contract for another four years to 2018. He was named chairman of the studio on May 31, 2012, after a long stint as the chairman of Warner Bros, and his first day at Disney was June 11, 2012. He oversees production, distribution, and marketing for live-action and animated films from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm, as well as marketing and distribution for DreamWorks Studios films released under the Touchstone Pictures banner. He also oversees Disney’s music and theatrical groups.
Under his tutelage, the studio has been doing incredibly well. For the first three months of the year, the studio reported net income of $1.92B, an increase of 26.7% vs. the same period last year, on revenues of $11.65B (that’s up 10.4%). In fact, it topped analysts’ forecasts. The movie studio was the hero of the first quarter, with revenues up 35% to $1.8B and operating income up 302% to $475M. The company benefited not only from a $1.19B worldwide box office take for its sweet animated family film Frozen but also reported stellar sales in home entertainment for the pic. Thor: The Dark World also was a box office behemoth, with $644M worldwide, and a home entertainment winner. The success of Frozen has spawned talk of a Broadway show. Theme parks also exceeded analyst predictions with up 8% to $3.56B and operating income up 19% to $457M. The Walt Disney Studios set a company record for reaching $1B internationally in mid-April, thanks mostly to those films, and also $500M domestically on April 27 — becoming the first studio to do so in 2014.
Horn has been a guiding force for the studio, which only two years ago, agreed to acquire George Lucas’ Lucasfilm Ltd for $4B+ in a stock-and-cash transaction. The deal brought two of Hollywood’s most beloved and lucrative franchises in Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Specifically, Disney/Lucasfilm now has in the works Star Wars: Episode VII, Episode VIII and Episode IX to feed the beast every two to three years.
The studio’s upcoming slate under Horn includes Million Dollar Arm, which opens this weekend; Maleficent opening at the end of the month, Planes: Fire & Rescue; Guardians Of The Galaxy; The Hundred-Foot Journey; Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day; Big Hero 6; McFarland; and Into The Woods.