Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be available on April 1 on Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere. Separately, the company says that the movie will be out in a Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD on April 5. The Combo Pack will have different bonus features exclusive to Target, Walmart, and Best Buy. And a 3D home video will be out “later this year.”
At the meeting, Iger said that next month Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts will break ground on their Star Wars-themed lands at Disneyland Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
The CEO talked up Rogue One: A Star Wars Story due in December. “It’s our first original, standalone Star Wars story about a band of rebels planning to steal the plans for the Death Star,” he says. “The action takes place right before the events in the very first Star Wars movie, Episode 4.”
Iger also announced that Disney plans to add two ships to its cruise line fleet. one in 2021 and another in 2023. The company has entered into a memorandum of agreement with the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany.
“We pride ourselves on the unforgettable vacation experiences we deliver to our guests each and every day, and the expansion of our Disney fleet will allow us to create even more magical memories for families at sea and in incredible cruise destinations around the world,” Iger says.
As for the business part of the meeting, shareholders elected all of the Disney-proposed directors. They also endorsed the company’s executive compensation, and rejected two shareholder resolutions. One called for allowing investors to support changes with a simple majority, and the other wanted more disclosure of Disney’s lobbying activities.
In a Q&A session, Iger defended ABC News generally, and George Stephanopoulos specifically, against an attendees’s charge that they reflected “liberal bias.” The speaker specifically noted Stephanopoulos’ history as Bill Clinton’s White House spokesman and his contribution to the Clinton Foundation “which he hid from the viewing public.”
Iger says that “overall” his is “proud of the efforts of ABC News.” He added that he does not believe that “the American public in general perceives ABC News as being biased.”
As for Stephanopoulos, the CEO says that he’s “a person of integrity” who is “presenting to his public a fair and unbiased view of the presidential election” and has been “equally aggressive” in seeking “fact and opinions from all of them.”
Another shareholder urged Disney to do more with The Muppets, described as the company’s “hidden jewel.” Iger said that the company had the Jim Henson-created characters in “a variety of different storytelling vehicles” including a series on ABC. “We tried a feature film a few years back, Tina Fey was in it. And it did OK — wasn’t great but did fine.” But although there are no plans to make another movie, he’d consider “other ways we can use them.”
Iger said that there’s an “inevitability” that the company will expand its DisneyLife subscription streaming service, recently introduced in the UK. “There are possibilities to bring DisneyLife to different markets around the world including the United States,” he says, although he has “nothing directly to announce at the moment.”