Disney steps up franchise strategy for future films

Releases to be part of studio's revenue 'ecosystem'

When Disney begins its next fiscal year in October, every movie for the next 12 months will be released with the mindset that it could -- or should -- enter "the Disney ecosystem," CFO Jay Rasulo said Thursday.

That ecosystem consists of rides, video games, toys, TV shows, clothing, whatever it takes to turn the film into a revenue generator long after its theatrical and DVD releases.

Rasulo was speaking at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference.

Listing some movies with big ecosystem potential, Rasulo noted: "Cars 2" (2011), "Tangled" (Nov. 24), "Thor" (May 6), "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" (May 20) and "Captain America: The First Avenger" (July 22).

"Our focus is becoming more and more laser-like," he said of the film studio's goal of creating franchises instead of mere movies.

Turning to television, Rasulo said ESPN and ABC are seeing "very short-term buying behavior," whereby advertisers are buying time late. "Our visibility is not very good," he said.
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