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Thursday, December 19, 2019

Disney Stock Price Falls on “Rise of Skywalker” Reviews – Really?

by Ray Keating
December 19, 2019

Trying to explain stock price movements minute-to-minute and even day-to-day can be a dangerous game. That includes movement in the price of a share of stock in The Walt Disney Company based on critics' reviews of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

But in this Internet age of clickbait, why not, right? As a result, we see the following head line from Investor’s Business Daily: “Disney Stock Falls As Reviews For 'Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker' Come In.” It was stated: “Walt Disney has high hopes pinned on ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ to revive a flagging franchise, but critics are mostly meh about this finale to the monumental Skywalker saga. Disney stock fell...” – “down 1%.”

Hmmm. Given that we haven’t seen audience reactions as yet, and the reviews actually are not “mostly meh,” but instead are deeply divisive so far, ranging from declaring The Rise of Skywalker to be among the best or the worst Star Wars movies, perhaps we should keep our investing powder dry until we’re able to gauge what audiences think. After all, critics are, well, just critics, and their views often fail to line up with audience reactions and spending.

Disney might or might not have a hit on its hands. But I think it’s safe to say that The Rise of Skywalker will not be any kind of box-office bomb. Rather, this movie seems destined to make big bucks. Oh yes, and given The Mandalorian on Disney+ and the positive response to the Rise of the Resistance attraction in Disney World, “flagging franchise” might not exactly be the right phrase for the current state of Star Wars. More on that with our upcoming review of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker this weekend.

One more thing: Investor’s Business Daily did note that Disney’s stock is up 35 percent so far this year.

Ray Keating is the editor, publisher and economist for DisneyBizJournal.com, and author of The Disney Planner 2020: The TO DO List Solution and the Pastor Stephen Grant novels. He can be contacted at  raykeating@keatingreports.com.

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