Disney Loses $50M On Cancelled Stop-Motion Film

The Mouse House will take a $50 million write-down this fiscal quarter

Disney will take a $50 million write-down this fiscal quarter due to a halted stop-motion film, Disney CFO Jay Rasulo said on Thursday.

Getty Images

Disney is typically tight-lipped about its business, but Rasulo revealed a couple of intriguing tidbits to the Bank of America/Merrill Lynch Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference in Beverly Hills.

The first was the write-down, which stems from Henry Selick’s latest film. Selick, best-known for directing “Coraline” and  “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” had been at work on a stop-motion animated film set for a fall 2013 release.

New studio chief Alan Horn has since halted work on it, and the write-down has prompted the company to lower its projected quarterly earnings by 2 cents per share.

Also Read: New Disney Studio Chief Alan Horn Vows: 'I Will Keep the Waters Calm' 

Though Rasulo was vague in his describing the write-down, simply identifying a film project, an individual with knowledge of the studio's plans says the loss is on the Selick project.

According to said individual, Disney is done with the project and Selick is free to shop it around. With a target release date of next October, the studio felt it was not where it needed to be.

Also on Thursday, Rasulo said that Disney’s TV advertising disappointed after the Olympics. The company had hoped the end of the quadrennial sports competition, which aired on Comcast’s NBCUniversal, would boost advertising on its properties.

Disney owns ABC and cable channels including ESPN and the Disney Channel. 

“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,” Rasulo said, though adding that advertising should increase again in the next quarter.

Rasulo did praise other parts of the Disney empire, including the new CarsLand at California Adventure and the growth of the Disney Channel.