Feb 3, 2020 - Economy & Business

Disney to release film version of "Hamilton" with original cast

Lin-Manuel Miranda performing onstage during the 70th Annual Tony Awards in 2016. Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions

Disney announced Monday that it will release a film version of the Tony-winning musical "Hamilton" featuring the original Broadway cast and filmed onstage at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York City.

Why it matters: Obtaining the rights to the movie, set for release Oct. 15, 2021, is a huge coup for Disney — which topped $10 billion in box office sales last year — and allows a stage show that still fetches eye-watering ticket prices to be seen around the world.

Go deeper: Disney breaks $10 billion box office record

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Disney says Disney+ has 26.5 million subscribers

Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Disney's stock rose Tuesday after revealing that its new streaming service, Disney+, now has 26.5 million paid subscribers. It also said that ESPN+, its sports streaming service, now has 6.6 million subscribers, up from 3.5 million in November.

Why it matters: Disney's strong showing shortly after it debuted its streaming service last November shows that it will be a formidable competitor to Netflix in the streaming wars.

Hulu CEO Randy Freer stepping down

Randy Freer. Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Hulu

Hulu CEO Randy Freer is exiting the company, as Disney looks to further consolidate the streaming service into its own streaming department, Disney said in a statement on Friday.

Why it matters: The move is part of a greater integration of 21st Century Fox assets into the Walt Disney Company. Disney purchased most of Fox's entertainment assets last year for $71 billion. In a statement, Disney said that Hulu executives will now report directly into Disney's direct-to-consumer department business leads.

The next phase in the streaming wars begins

Reproduced from CivicScience; Chart: Axios Visuals

Netflix is the No. 1 streaming service in terms of the number of current users, capturing 64% of respondents in a recent survey of U.S. adults. But its future growth is much less certain, according to new data from CivicScience.

Why it matters: Since the start of the year, Netflix stock has caught fire again, outpacing Disney's stock by almost 13% year to date — up 7.9%, with Disney off by 4.6%.

Go deeperArrowJan 27, 2020