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Disney to Take $50 Million Write-Down on Scrapped Film Project

Disney CFO Jay Rasulo - P 2012
Disney CFO Jay Rasulo.

UPDATED: CFO Jay Rasulo said that will cost the company 2 cents in per-share earnings.

The Walt Disney Co. will take a $50 million write-down in the current quarter due to a discontinued project at the film studio, CFO Jay Rasulo said Thursday.

The write-down will cost the company 2 cents in per-share earnings, Rasulo said. He did not name the scrapped project but the studio last month shut down an expensive Henry Selick-directed stop-motion animation movie that was scheduled to be released in October 2013. The write-down is believed to be due to that project.

A Disney spokesperson declined to comment.

Rasulo, speaking at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference in Los Angeles, also said TV advertising at the stations and networks in the current quarter is disappointing, though he expects an uptick in fiscal 2013.

“We did not see the kind of rebound after the Olympics that we thought we’d see, when we gave our last view of advertising with our third-quarter results. A little lighter…. We do not see that persisting into calendar Q4.”

Rasulo was more upbeat about the parks and resorts division – he called Cars Land at California Adventure “an absolute grand-slam home run” – and about the movie studio and Disney Channel. Of the latter, he said its growth internationally is “one of the great stories” at Disney and he said of the former that Disney’s goal is to make superheroes from its Marvel division “evergreen” franchises akin to Mickey Mouse and Disney Princesses.