Disney confirms Narnia a Smash, sequels to come

The Walt Disney Co. has sold 1.5 million digital downloads of such TV titles as “Lost,” “Desperate Housewives” and “Kim Possible” through Apple’s iTunes store, and is seeking iTunes competitors to further such distribution, an executive said Wednesday.

“Other companies with on-demand products will feature some of our content in the near future,” chief financial officer Tom Staggs said at an investor event hosted by Atlantic Equities.

Staggs added that Disney-owned TV shows — “Lost” and “Housewives” in particular — would add $1 billion to the company’s operating profit during the next five years via syndication.

Staggs also confirmed that more movies from the C.S. Lewis “Narnia” series are probably in store, though he did not specify titles. With global ticket sales of more than $580 million to date, he called “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” a smash, adding that it “looks to be the beginning of a franchise for us similar to what ‘Pirates of the Caribbean‘ has shaped up into.”

He said that, minus the distribution fee that Disney takes, it splits the revenue generated from “Narnia” and all subsequent films form the series 50-50 with the film’s producer Walden Media, which is owned by Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz, adding, “We may do more with Walden in the future.”

The “Narnia” DVD comes out in the spring. “It could be one of those must-own videos,” Staggs said.


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