Revenues rose to $9.6 billion for the three months ending March 31, up 6% from the same time a year ago. Net income exceeded $1.1 billion, compared with $942 million a year earlier. Disney reported earnings per share of 58 cents, excluding one-time items, an increase of 18% from a year ago.
The film studio reported an operating loss of $84 million for the quarter, reflecting the write-down associated with the sci-fi adventure film "John Carter." The big-budget film, released in early March, brought in just $70 million in domestic box-office receipts, well shy of breaking even.
Disney's box-office dud was followed, two months later, by the record-setting performance of "The Avengers." The superhero movie, released by Disney's Marvel Entertainment group, smashed the domestic record for best opening weekend.
"The Avengers," a film packed with action and A-list performers, brought in more than $207 million in its first three days of release in the U.S., and grossed a total of $702 million worldwide in its first two weeks. The results will be reflected in Disney's third quarter.
“We’re incredibly optimistic about our future, given the strength of our core brands,
Disney, Pixar, Marvel, ESPN and ABC," Disney Chairman and Chief Executive Robert A. Iger said in a statement. "And our extraordinary ability to grow franchises across our businesses, such as 'The Avengers,' which shattered domestic box-office records."
Disney's Media Networks television group remains the company's cash cow, reporting operating income of $1.7 billion for the quarter -- up 13% from a year ago.
Parks and resorts showed the most substantial gains. Operating income rose 53% to $222 million in the quarter, reflecting increased attendance and spending at Disney's domestic parks, and improved results from the Tokyo Disney Resort, which was closed a year ago because of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
-- Dawn Chmielewski
Photo: Walt Disney Studios President of Production Sean Bailey; Walt Disney Studios President Alan Bergman, Chairman and Chief Executive of the Walt Disney Co. Bob Iger, then-President of Marketing Walt Disney Studios MT Carney and then-Chairman of the Walt Disney Studios Rich Ross attend "The Muppets" Los Angeles Premiere at the El Capitan Theatre on Nov. 12, 2011, in Hollywood. Credit: Todd Williamson / WireImage