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06.12.17 | 6:00 am

One thing three generations of workers can agree on: They love Disney 

While both millennials and gen-Xers ranked Google as the company they would be most proud to work for (it came in at No. 7 among boomers), there are some generational differences/stereotypes to be found among Morning Consult's Most Admired Employers. To reveal them, the nonpartisan survey company tallied 221,868 interviews with adults 18-plus across the United States.

Amazon was No. 1 for boomers along with established corporate brands such as Harley Davidson, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and John Deere. The one employer equally loved across generations was Disney, coming in at second place. Tesla, meanwhile, comes in at No. 7 for gen-Xers and No. 10 for boomers, but surprisingly doesn't break the top 10 for millennials.

05.26.17 | 2:23 pm

Walt Disney World’s new Avatar-inspired park opens this weekend

Eight years after the film Avatar hit the big screen, Walt Disney World is bringing the movie to life in the form of a new expansion to Disney's Animal Kingdom.

"Pandora—The World of Avatar" officially opens on Saturday. First announced in 2012, the newest expansion of the park includes exciting new rides, interactive scenery, and unique Avatar-inspired food options.

05.15.17 | 5:24 pm

Now they’ve gone too far! Hackers are holding a Disney movie hostage: Report

This isn't funny anymore. Disney CEO Bob Iger says hackers have stolen one of the studio's upcoming releases and are demanding an inordinate ransom payment, according to sources cited by THR. Iger apparently made the comments during a meeting with ABC executives in New York today. He won't say which movie was compromised (smart), but did say Disney is working with law enforcement to track down those responsible. The incident comes two weeks after a similar hostage situation with Netflix's Orange Is the New Black. 

The movie industry is heading into summer blockbuster season, and Disney has a lot of big tentpoles slated for release, including the latest installments of the Pirates of the Caribbean and Thor franchises. Iger says Disney is refusing to pay (again, smart). Read more from THR.

[Photo: hyku via Wikimedia Commons]

05.09.17 | 5:51 pm

Disney reports 3% decrease in operating income thanks to ESPN

The Walt Disney Company reported its fiscal second-quarter earnings on Tuesday. The company reported a slightly lower revenue than expected, $13.34 billion to the expected $13.45 billion.

Overall the company reported a 3% year-over-year decrease in operating income, which it said was significantly attributed to higher programming costs for ESPN. Disney says that some of the decline was offset by the growth in advertising and affiliate revenue growth and Bob Iger, the company's president and CEO, says Disney is confident in ESPN's future going forward.

04.13.17 | 7:39 am

Here’s Rey: Disney launches girl-focused “Forces of Destiny” digital shorts, products

Star Wars Celebration is kicking off this week in Orlando, and ahead of the Star Wars: The Last Jedi reveals and the activities around the franchise's 40th anniversary Disney has announced a new campaign designed to tackle that lingering problem of female fan service (remember the "where's Rey?" controversy during The Force Awakens' release?). 

Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy unveiled Star Wars: Forces of Destiny, a new series of digital shorts and products focusing on the untold stories of some of the universe's prominent female heroes like Princess Leia, Rey, and Jyn Erso (in the case of the last two, actresses Daisy Ridley and Felicity Jones will return to provide their characters' voices, and the series will be hosted by Lupita Nyong'o as her Force Awakens character Maz Kanata). The shorts will also be accompanied by a line of apparel and toys that are being referred to as "adventure figures" to avoid the stigma of "dolls." 

04.10.17 | 8:51 am

Disney has huggable humanoid robots on its mind

A new patent application filed by the Walt Disney Company imagines a "Soft-body robot for physical interaction with humans." First spotted by the Orlando Sentinel, the patent says prototypes of the robot—designed to be "huggable and interactive"—have already been tested by Disney engineers. A patent application doesn't necessarily mean such a product would ever see the light of day, but the Sentinel spoke with a theme park writer who speculated that Disney may one day want to introduce soft-body robots to its theme parks, where they would interact with children. Read the full patent here. [h/t Ars Technica]



[Image: USPTO]

03.20.17 | 2:55 pm

Disney researchers can catch a real ball while wearing a VR headset

One of the truisms about virtual reality headsets is that no matter how fantastical and wonderful the worlds that you visit are while you're wearing them, you're blind to the real world around you. Sure, HTC's Vive has a see-through camera designed to make it safe to wander around in a room where a baby might crawl in front of you. But you're still largely blind to the physical environment around you.

Disney, though, thinks you should be able to mix the real and the virtual, and its researchers have come up with a system that cleverly mixes the two. In a video it released, researchers are shown tossing an actual ball (with motion-capture sensors attached) to each other while one sports a VR headset. The idea is that their system is able to track the ball's trajectory and display it virtually to the person wearing the headset, allowing him or her to reach out a hand to actually catch it. It's not entirely clear how this would be used outside the lab, but imagine Disneyland VR experiences where you could toss things back and forth with friends while immersed in Disney-esque VR worlds. 

02.14.17 | 6:58 am

Disney cuts ties with PewDiePie over anti-Semitic videos

The YouTube sensation, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, has seen his joint venture with Disney severed after he posted nine videos since last August that contained anti-Semitic jokes or Nazi imagery, reports the Wall Street Journal. PewDiePie and Disney's joint venture, Maker Studios, produced apps, videos, and merchandise. A spokesperson for Maker Studios said:

"Although Felix has created a following by being provocative and irreverent, he clearly went too far in this case and the resulting videos are inappropriate. Maker Studios has made the decision to end our affiliation with him going forward."

11.01.16 | 1:39 pm

Hulu signs ABC, Disney, ESPN, and Fox for new live television service

Hulu's upcoming live television service will feature some big names. The streaming company on Tuesday announced agreements with the Walt Disney Company and 21st Century Fox for the new service. ABC, ESPN, Fox, Fox Sports, and Fox News are all among the properties owned by those media giants.

No launch date or pricing information have been announced for the service, which will offer broadcast and cable TV streamed live over the internet. Hulu previously confirmed a similar agreement with Time Warner and its channels, including TNT, TBS, CNN, and the Cartoon Network.

The new streaming service will include an "intuitive and personalized interface," and  both live and on-demand content," the company said.

09.26.16 | 4:13 pm

Update: Twitter sale could happen in the next month 

Disney, Salesforce, and now Microsoft are all exploring a potential bid for Twitter, according to CNBC's David Faber. Sources tell the financial news outlet that a sale could be coming in the next 30-45 days. Among those not interested: Facebook.

09.01.16 | 9:51 am

Bollywood ending: Disney is done making movies in India

Following a number of underperforming Bollywood films, the Walt Disney Company confirmed it will stop making movies in India. Some of its recent Hindi-language films—including Mohenjo Daro and Fitoor—were made on modest budgets (by Disney standards) but still lost money. Disney instead said that it would focus on Hollywood movies that could play well in India. The studio had a rare crossover hit this summer with The Jungle Book, which appealed to both Indian and American audiences, and has turned out to be one of the biggest hits of the year.

Variety has more on this

[Photo: Razvan/iStock]

08.09.16 | 5:06 pm

Disney buys $1 billion stake in MLB streaming service BAMTech

As rumored, Disney is acquiring one third of Major League Baseball's streaming company BAMTech. The $1 billion deal spins off BAMTech from MLB Advanced Media, MLB's umbrella digital business. Disney will pay the $1 billion in two installments—one now and one in January—and will have the option of becoming the majority owner.

BAMTech is also teaming up with ESPN to launch a direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service that will cover "live regional, national and international sporting events," according to Disney's statement.

The news of the acquisition was coupled with Disney's quarterly earnings release today, which exceeded analyst expectations and reported $14.28 billion in revenue—in large part due to the success of films like Finding Dory, Zootopia, and The Jungle Book. Revenue at Disney's film division, in particular, was $2.85 billion, up 40% from the same quarter last year.