For Disney, 2015 was the year the Force awakened and investors freaked out over subscriber declines at flagship network ESPN. Fears over the effects of cord-cutting wreaked havoc on most media stocks last year, but the Mouse House’s media networks booked nearly as much revenue as Disney’s parks and resorts and film studio units combined. Overall, Disney has set new annual revenue records five years in a row and ended 2015 in style with the Star Wars franchise’s record-breaking return to the big screen with The Force Awakens. 0. 2016, the company has another full slate of blockbusters on tap, while Disneyland Shanghai finally opens its gates after years of anticipation. Meanwhile, investors’ cord-cutting fears have tempered a bit, though how to evolve the traditional television model still remains a major concern—and, now, Disney is once again seeking a successor to CEO Bob Iger, whose contract expires in 2018.
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Something to hope for.
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