Walt Disney Co’s DIS release of "The Lion King" this weekend is expected to crack $150 million in U.S. box office revenue, with some estimates calling for $180 million.
While Disney's stock is up nearly 30% year to date, Tigress Financial's Ivan Feinseth still sees room for upside.
Return To Pride Rock
Directed by John Favreau, the new version of "The Lion King" is scheduled for release Friday. The film uses photorealistic computer-generated animation to recreate the classic "Lion King" of 1994.
That movie originally grossed $766 million in worldwide box office sales, which at the time made it the second-highest-grossing movie of all time.
"The expected success of the new 'Lion King' also preempted other studios from competing against it so the movie will open in the U.S. with very little competition," Feinseth said.
Disney aims to leverage its content by launching its streaming service Disney+ on Nov. 12. Given Disney’s massive content library, Feinseth said Disney+ is expected be a strong revenue generator for the company. He added that this will provide increasing competition to Netflix, Inc. NFLX.
“I believe when Disney+ launches it will also drive increasing adoption of ESPN+ as well as Hulu and will most likely be offered in some type of package subscription deal,” Feinseth said.
Other Catalysts Ahead
"Lion King" follows the Favreau-directed "Jungle Book" in 2016, which grossed $966 million in worldwide box office sales. Disney also released live-action updates to "Dumbo" and "Aladdin" earlier this year to varying success.
The recent debut of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland in Anaheim has been successful, and the company is expected to introduce this at the Orlando Disney World in August.
Disney has recorded massive box office gains in recent years, led by this year's record-breaking "Avengers: End Game." The company has a busy calendar of movies, including "Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker," which is scheduled for release in December.
Disney's stock closed Thursday's session at $141.63 per share.
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