Disney stock drops 4.77% after “Avatar” opening weekend fails to meet expectations

The Walt Disney Company’s stock closed Monday, Dec. 19, at $85.78, down 4.30 percent from the day’s opening price. Disney didn’t hit the mark on the opening weekend of James Cameron’s “Avatar: The Way of the Water” box office.

So Disney stock could close the year on new lows, despite the coincidence of the 2022 holiday season.

Avatar Disney version

In particular, the official trailer ofAvatar: The Way of the Water – on YouTube – attracted more than 46 million views after it was released on November 2.

According to a U.S. media outlet, Avatar: The Way of the Water earned Disney $134 million at the domestic box office in its opening weekend, below analysts’ expectations of $175 million and Disney’s forecast of $135 million to $150 million.

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Internationally, the film took in about $300.5 million, bringing its opening weekend receipts to about $434.5 million.

Disney stock and market outlook

According to market data provided by MarketWatch, Disney stock has struggled since the start of the global coronavirus pandemic. By the numbers, Disney stock is down about 44% over the past year. Technically, Disney’s stock market is retesting the Black Thursday of 2020, which marked the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Nevertheless, Wall Street is very bullish on Disney’s market outlook. According to a survey conducted by MarketWatch, 28 ratings gave Disney’s stock market an average of BUY.

Current market sentiment is directly proportional to the vaccine’s deployment in the United States and Canada, where most of Disney’s internal operations are located.

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Poor performance in recent years has put the company’s management at odds with board members. In addition, the company’s recent quarterly earnings report showed that analyst expectations were not met. Notably, Disney reported revenue of $20.15 billion versus $21.24 billion in the fiscal fourth quarter, according to Refinitiv.

Still, according to StreetAccount estimates, Disney+ gained about 12.1 million subscriptions in the fiscal fourth quarter, bringing the platform’s total subscriber count to 164.2 million. That’s up from the 160.45 million analysts had forecast for the fiscal fourth quarter.

Disney’s stock market is expected to fall further in the first quarter of 2023 as the company’s overall growth is expected to slow. On the other hand, Disney CEO Bob Chapek has previously stated that Disney+ would reach profitability in fiscal 2024.

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