Disney had a lot riding on last weekend as Avatar: The Way of the Water made its debut in theatres worldwide. It was a project that took longer to come to fruition than Tron Lightcycle – and that’s saying something – however, despite all the hype leading up to the big event, the film reportedly underperformed against expectations; a factor many are linking to the dive Disney shares took on Monday closing at a head-shaking low.
At 9:30 am, DIS stock opened at an already concerning $89.43, though by day’s end, that number had fallen even further to $85.79, resting at the lowest point of 2022. If you haven’t been following the rollercoaster numbers that Disney has been experiencing this year, let’s take a little look at this snapshot to help explain where things are at. In the graph below from Google, you can see Disney shares and how they performed over the last five days. That downward trending line is bad news.
To put this into an even bigger perspective, the graph below shows the spiral DIS stock has experienced over the year to date, giving an almost complete 12-month image of the perception of Disney through the eyes of Wall Street’s market:
See what I mean? We saw a slight reprieve in November when Bob Chapek was sent packing, and Iger set up shop in his place, though the new CEO couldn’t hold the numbers for long and soon saw confidence in the brand seep away again. Just short of a month with the more popular Bob back in the driver’s seat, The Walt Disney Company is facing its worst-performing day of the calendar year.
Of course, it will take time to undo the PR problem that Disney had created for itself under the leadership of Bob Chapek; the rebound in both performance and public perception was never going to be a quick fix. However, there was some hope that with the change in leadership, they might, at the very least, be able to stall the process and hold on to the value they had. Unfortunately, the numbers tell a different story, one that wasn’t helped by the weekend’s underperforming Avatar release, which failed to meet – albeit inflated – expectations. Though it isn’t all doom and gloom, there is a long way to go yet, with the film still expected to make an impression in theatre numbers over the next few weeks. We will have to wait and see if that has any bearing on the even-more-disappointing numbers on Wall Street.
Zoë Wood is a travel writer from Sydney, Australia. Since her first visit to Disneyland at the age of 6, she has spent her years frequently visiting Disney Parks and traveling around the world.
Join Zoë as she lets you in on all the tips, tricks, anecdotes, and embarrassments that arise from her family adventures.