The Force is still very much strong with Disney. Despite continued worries over at sports flagship network ESPN (as well as fears over cord-cutting across the media industry), the Mouse House’s media networks booked nearly as much revenue as Disney’s parks and resorts and film studio units combined. Disneyland Shanghai finally opened its gates after years of anticipation, and the Imagineering unit has already revealed glimpses at what park-goers can expect at the promised Star Wars lands coming to Disneyland in Southern California and Walt Disney World in Florida. 2016 was an especially monster year for Disney at the box office—distinguishing it from much of Hollywood—as the movie studio continues to close ranks around its core franchises, such as Pixar and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Disney’s $4 billion bet on Lucasfilm continues to be the steal of the century as the first standalone Star Wars film, Rogue One, was one of the top-performing hits of the year even with a mid-December release date. Don’t expect the magic to fade away anytime soon. CEO Bob Iger, whose contract was supposed to expire in 2018, has promised to stay around through at least July 2019.
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