Disney’s Magic Fades As Company Admits Being At Odds With Consumers In Recent SEC Report
The Walt Disney Company appears ready to fully acknowledge the costs of its political and social agenda.
Revealed in recent filings to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Disney notes to regulators and potential investors in its business, “We face risks relating to misalignment with public and consumer tastes and preferences for entertainment, travel, and consumer products, which impact demand for our entertainment offerings and products and the profitability of any of our businesses.”
Put simply: Disney is taking on water, and they know it. By law, they have to inform current and would-be investors of this fact. The magic is fading.
Disney’s latest animation, Wish, failed to meet box office expectations. According to a report from Variety, Disney’s latest animated endeavor just managed to make a fairly disappointing $19.5 million on opening weekend, and a total of $31.7 million the five days that followed. The movie was projected to notch the top spot over a family-oriented holiday weekend with an estimated $35 million for the weekend and projections between $40 million to $50 million for the following business days.
Instead, Wish managed to trail the Hunger Games prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, and Ridley Scott’s Napoleon. It’s Disney’s Strange World all over again. Past Disney Thanksgiving releases like Frozen, Frozen II, and Coco stand as evidence that this is an entertainment company that used to know what they were doing. More so, Disney used to know their audience.
The SEC disclosure highlights the risks Disney faces concerning the potential misalignment with public and consumer preferences in entertainment, travel, and consumer products.
It reads, “Generally, our revenues and profitability are adversely impacted when our entertainment offerings and products, as well as our methods to make our offerings and products available to consumers, do not achieve sufficient consumer acceptance. Further, consumers’ perceptions of our position on matters of public interest, including our efforts to achieve certain of our environmental and social goals, often differ widely and present risks to our reputation and brands.”
Matters of public interest should be translated as ‘politics’ and it is no secret that Disney is fighting a political battle against the preferences of American parents, the primary consumer for the Walt Disney Company. Children will watch just about anything they’re shown up to a certain age, therefore it is the parent that has to be won over in the marketing for any Disney product or experience.
Parents and prospective parents, according to a 2022 study in Proceedings of the Royal Society, “are associated with increased social conservatism.” The findings line up with the World Values Survey, involving 426,444 participants in 88 countries over a 40-year period, which showed the more children a person had, the more socially conservative they became.
Disney knows this at the highest levels. It’s hard to imagine CEO Bob Iger doesn’t understand this, which is why at a recent investors’ presentation at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Iger recently pledged to “quiet the noise” on Disney’s left-wing political activism.
It remains to be seen if Bob Iger and Disney are willing to do more than quiet down the drumbeat of the culture war. In recent years Disney positioned itself openly against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ Parental Rights in Education law, while turning a blind eye to executive producer Latoya Raveneau and President of Disney General Entertainment Content Karey Burke declaring Disney’s not-so-secret agenda to place gay and queer content in children’s programming.
Disney’s financial setback appears to be substantial, as reports indicate a billion-dollar loss attributed to four recent film flops. Additionally, the company acknowledges they face a decline in domestic advertising revenue, “due to a decrease of 14% from fewer impressions, reflecting lower average viewership, partially offset by an increase of 7% from higher rates.” Fewer consumers are watching and streaming Disney products.
At times like this, it’s hard not to recall that moment of realization in James Cameron’s Titanic when the higher-ups aboard the floundering ship remark, “But this ship can’t sink,” to which the vessel’s designer responds, “She’s made of iron sir, I assure you she can.”
Disney is a company built upon and subsidized by the trust of parents and families. Without that trust, it will continue to slowly sink.