Mar 20, 2017

Beauty and the Beast's monster debut bodes well for Disney

Evan Agostini / AP

Disney's live-action remake of its' 1991 classic Beauty and the Beast opened with a record-shattering $170 million at the box office from Thursday night through Sunday in North America, the highest March opening ever and the highest of all time for a PG-rated film. The movie now ranks seventh in all-time highest box office opens, beating out every Batman, Twilight and Harry Potter series debut.

Why it matters:

  • Confidence for future franchise films: In 2016, Disney shattered studio revenue records, making over $7 billion gross, largely from franchise films like Finding Dory, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and Captain America: Civil War. While investors thought it would be difficult for Disney to match that growth, the early success of Beauty and the Beast should bolster investor confidence as Disney pours resources into upcoming franchise movies like Dumbo, The Lion King, Aladdin, and Mulan in 2017.
  • Studio revenue could make up for ESPN decline: Disney once relied on its flagship cable channel to spike revenues for the company, which includes a studio business, theme parks business, cable news business and merchandising business. Now, as ESPN continues to face steep subscription revenue declines, the pressure to resurrect Disney's studio business through franchise films has grown significantly.

For investors: Disney's shares have grown more than 20% over the past six months, as the success of its studio business has overshadowed ESPN's revenue declines. Disney's stock jumped 1.05% between Friday's close of business and Monday's opening bell.

Go deeper

Trump considers quarantine for states near epicenter of U.S. coronavirus outbreak

President Trump speaks to the press on March 28 in Washington, DC. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

President Trump said on Saturday he is considering a "short term" quarantine of New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut — areas congruent with the New York metro area, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus in the U.S.

Reality check: These states have already taken steps to quarantine residents and promote social distancing to combat COVID-19. The governors of New York and New Jersey issued statewide stay-at-home orders last week, and non-essential businesses in Connecticut were ordered to close as of this Monday.

New York is latest state to delay primary due to coronavirus

Photo: Barbara Davidson/Getty Images

New York — the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. — has moved its presidential primary to June 23, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Saturday.

Why it matters: 23 other states and the District of Columbia haven't held primaries yet. The White House is recommending, for now, that Americans practice social distancing and gather in groups of no more than 10 people — while many states have issued stay-at-home orders.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 19 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 622,450 — Total deaths: 28,794 — Total recoveries: 135,779.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 105,573 — Total deaths: 1,711 — Total recoveries: 895.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump is reportedly considering a quarantine on New York, parts of New Jersey and Connecticut. He signed the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill to provide businesses and U.S. workers economic relief.
  4. State updates: A group of Midwestern swing voters that supported President Trump's handling of the coronavirus less than two weeks ago is balking at his call for the U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter. Alaska is latest state to issue stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month.
  5. World updates: Italy reported 969 coronavirus deaths on Friday, the country's deadliest day. In Spain, over 1,300 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
  6. 🚀 Space updates: OneWeb filed for bankruptcy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancing.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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