Courtesy of movieweb.com:
Could Apple end up buying Disney? This might, at first glance, sound like an impossible scenario. But crazier things have happened and, with the entire entertainment landscape being thrown for a loop right now, nothing is off the table. The coronavirus outbreak has sent shockwaves through the industry and the stock market crash has hit Hollywood studios in a big way. With that, a cash-rich company like Apple could make a big, unprecedented move such as this.
Disney and other studios have been heavily impacted by the volatility in the stock market that has occurred in recent weeks as global markets react to the coronavirus. Disney, in particular, has lost about $85 billion in value, or roughly one-third of its market cap. That is huge. With that, Rosenblatt Securities analyst Bernie McTernan suggests that Apple might be in a position to buy the Mouse House. Here’s what McTernan had to say about it.
“We believe those with long-time horizons, like mega-cap companies with large cash balances and whose equity outperformed Disney over the last three weeks, like Apple, could take advantage of the volatility. The upside from acquiring Disney would be securing their content/streaming strategy and potential synergies from adding the emerging Disney ecosystem to the iOS platform.”
This would be, to say the very least of it, a big deal. Disney is easily the biggest studio in Hollywood right now, setting a staggering record in 2019 by becoming the first studio to ever bring in $10 billion in a single year at the box office. Plus, the studio’s $71.3 billion merger with Fox finally went into effect last year and, to ice the cake, Disney+ launched in November, giving them an edge in the streaming game. Not to mention that Disney also controls Hulu and ESPN+.
Apple, meanwhile, is also making major strides in the content business. They also launched a streaming service, Apple TV+, in November. But the service has been dwarfed by Disney+, and the shadow of Netflix looms large over both of them. Apple doesn’t currently have a studio at its disposal, but it does $107 billion in cash and securities at its disposal.
Disney, meanwhile, is suffering costly production delays, with The Last Duel, The Little Mermaid and other productions on pause currently as the COVID-19 crisis continues to have adverse effects on the entertainment industry. Plus, several of the studio’s major releases, such as Mulan and The New Mutants have been delayed indefinitely, which will hurt Disney’s box office for the year in a big way. It’s expected that Black Widow, the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe entry, will similarly be delayed.
All of this could create an ugly financial situation for Disney. On the other hand, Sony, Paramount and Universal could also be in a bad spot as things progress. Perhaps Apple could make a play for a rival studio? Either way, it seems a major media shake-up isn’t at all out of the question here in the near future. This news comes to us via The Hollywood Reporter.