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Update: Disney buys Lucasfilm for $4B : 'Star Wars: Episode 7' due in 2015 (poll)


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"Stars Wars" Imperial storm troopers. They work for Disney now.

UPDATE 4: Iger and his team see upside in the deal in the future, in terms of exploiting new filmmaking opportunities and realizing new consumer-product opportunities. The idea seems to be that "Star Wars" merchandising has room to run outside North America.

Also, Disney doesn't have a completely free hand with "Star Wars," due to intellectual-property claims that Fox and Paramount may hold from the films that they worked on.

UPDATE 3: In its last earnings report, Disney had over $4 billion in cash. However, Iger pointed out that Disney expects a return on Lucasfilm "well in advance of its cost of capital," suggesting that the company didn't burn half its cash on hand to make this acquisition. Although the company is proposing to buy back, in several years, the shares it issued to complete the deal. This will hit Disney a bit in terms of share value — issuing new stock will dilute the value of existing stock.


Ousted Disney Studios head Rich Ross lands in Murdochland at Shine America

Rich Ross (L), Walt Disney Studios Presi


Rich Ross, on left in glasses, ran Walk Disney Studios until this April. Now he's landed at Shine America as CEO.

Back in April, Rich Ross was pushed out as the president of Walt Disney Studios, the moviemaking arm of the Mighty Mouse. This was just after the debacle of "John Carter," a bloated box-office flop, and before the advent of "The Avengers," which shattered box office records.

Ross, who had come from TV, was in the wrong place at the wrong time. "The Avengers" aside, Disney has been struggling of late to get its core filmmaking business back in track, even as the company has seen theme parks bring in solid revenues. It goes without saying that Disney isn't really Disney without movies. So it made sense that Disney named a movie executives' executive to the post in Alan Horn.

Meanwhile, Ross has landed on his feet — back in TV. He was just named CEO of Shine America, which is part of the Shine Group, an enterprise overseen by Elisabeth Murdoch, daughter of Rupert Murdoch.


Disney names an executives' executive in Alan Horn to run movie studio

Marvel Studios Celebrates Release Of "Marvel's The Avengers" At The New York Stock Exchange

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Ringing the opening bell at The New York Stock Exchange as part of a celebration of the release of Marvel Studios "Marvel's The Avengers" on May 1, 2012 in New York City. Walt Disney Studios' new head, Alan Horn, will want to see more events like this.

When Rich Ross, a former TV guy, was ousted as the head of Walt Disney Studios, the moviemaking arm of the Mighty Mouse, it was generally assumed that someone with a tad more experience on the film side would be his replacement.

Ultimately, Disney went with experience and then some. Maybe a bit too much experience, in fact.

Alan Horn assumes the role, coming out of semi-retirement after a strong tenure at Warner Bros., where as president he oversaw the highly successful "Harry Potter" and "Dark Knight" franchises. This is from Bloomberg:

Chief Executive Officer Robert Iger has placed a high priority on the studio, which lost $84 million last quarter because of “John Carter.” The studio is benefiting this month from “Marvel’s The Avengers,” which has posted $1.31 billion in worldwide sales and lifted Disney to first in U.S. theater revenue at $742.7 million....