The Walt Disney Company Annual Meeting of Shareholders beings at 12p Eastern / 9a Pacific. We’ll be live blogging it here and live tweeting it @laughing_place.
You can listen to the webcast live and replays here.
9:56a: Waiting for the webcast to begin. Frozen songs are playing (of course)
10:03a: Still waiting for the webcast to begin. Remember, any sizzle reels or footage shown in the meeting won’t be webcast.
10:05a: Bob Iger takes the stage. Says meeting is held here because of Disney shareholders, fans and they have their duck.
10:07a: Iger talks about how powerful it is when all 3 of Disney’s focuses come together. It returns Disney Animation to its rightful place and is poised to surpass Toy Story 3 as the #1 animated movie of all time. Then shows a video showcasing the international talent of Frozen.
10:14a: Fiscal 2013 was 3rd straight year with record profits. Company is consistently recognized as one of most reputable, admired and socially responsible companies in the world. He then goes through the success currently being experienced in 2014. In first quarter, all business units delivered double digit growth. More than 2.5 million have already downloaded Disney Movies Anywhere app.
10:16a: Iger: Here today talk about incredible things in Disney’s pipeline. First up are Muppets and Captain America. He then shows a Captain America sneak peek.
10:21a: Maleficent released in May starring Angelina Jolie. Iger shows new trailer for first time.
10:27a: Now talking Guardians of the Galaxy, Planes sequel, Big Hero 6 and Into the Woods starring Meryl Streep. Then goes to 2016 with live action Cinderella and Avengers Sequel and Tomorrowland. Now Pixar – Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur, Finding Dory and new CARS and Incredibles films. Star Wars Episode 7 to be released Dec 18, 2015. No news to announce. But can say the story picks up about 30 years after events of 1983 Return of Jedi. Will be familiar faces and a trio of new young leads. So far, only official cast member is R2-D2.
10:32a: A completely different SportsCenter debuts May 26 on ESPN
10:35a: At Parks and Resorts Snow White is almost ready and MyMagic+ will continue its successful rollout. A few months ago officially broke ground on Avatar area in Animal Kingdom. Now shows an exclusive look at Shanghai Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean. Will be in “Pirates Cove” land an be called Pirates of the Sunken treasure. Based on the 4 films.
10:36a: Unveils the new shareholder’s certificate that shows everything Disney has become.
10:37a: Announces 2015 D23 Expo in Anaheim Aug 14-16. A: We’ll consider it.
10:42a: First proposal – election of Board of Directors. Board recommends all be accepted. Second proposal – Ratification of accountant. Board recommends ratification. Third proposal – advisory vote on executive compensation. Board recommends a vote for. Fourth proposal – Amendment to companies articles of incorporation allowing 25% of shareholders to call a special meeting. Fifth proposal – details in proxy but a rep is there in person to present. Regarding limiting executive pay. Board recommends no.
10:55a: Board recommendations accepted for all votes.
10:56a: Q&A Time: Q #1: Disney stopped issuing paper annual reports several years ago. When they went online the beautiful photos, etc. were discontinued. Why? A: Cost, though Iger always liked it.
10:58a: Q #2: Diversity is important. No actual question other than consider Detroit for a future meeting.
11:01a: Q #3: Media bias in ABC News. Same person had similar question at last meeting. A: Will pass on comments to ABC News but he stands by them.
11:03a: Q #4: Any consideration of a stock split? A: Not really
11:05a: Q# 5: From child – Disney ever considered getting in the summer camp business? A: Have considered it but not going to do it.
11:06a Q# 6: Regarding Disneyland and Finding Nemo Subs. Any thoughts to completely removing and replacing. A: “There really isn’t”. Iger was heavily involved in the Nemo conversion and thinks it’s a good idea.
11:09a: Q# 7: Pin Trading – why have they lost their homes (tables) in the parks. Is there someway to have someone to tell them what’s really going on with Pin Trading? A: Concern over pin traders reducing quality of experience for other guests. But will pass info on.
11:14a: Q# 8: Will company reexamine special needs passes. Has pendulum swung too far in other direction A: Changes were not designed to take away from those who deserve them.
11:16a: Q# 9 Asks about Disney in Germany. Also wants to work for Shanghai Disneyland. A: Satisfied with recent progress in Germany including new Disney Channel. Re: Shanghai job – Head of HR for Disney is there. Give her your name
11:19a: Q# 10 What’s on tap for the cruise line A: Currently not planning to add ships. Looking at a number of new itineraries.
11:21a: Q# 11 Asks for Disney to start a Montessori school for their employee’s kids using her book as a guide. A: Doubt that’s something we’ll do.
11:27a: Q# 12 Thanks Disney for trying to keep stock certificates. Says his favorite character is Robert Iger and asks if he would dissolve with acetone. Also says Lone Ranger got a bad rap. Talks about a bracelet is daughter proudly wears. His 2 questions 1) Can Mulan become a princess with a castle in Shanghai? 2) POTC sequel coming? A: 1) No Mulan castle. 2) Development but not green lit yet.
11:30a: Q #13 Concerned about growing exclusivity happening in the park. Eg: Lilly belle exclusive to Club 33 and groups A: So much to do in the parks that the exclusive stuff is very, very tiny. In some cases the only way to bring something back is to do it for an exclusive number.
11:32a: Q #14: Concerned about ABC News leaving talent for CNN. A: There’s a deep bench but proud of newcomers
11:33a: Q #15: Copyrights … is company concerned about early films passing into public domain? A: Have extremely strong trademarks that outlive copyrights.
11:35a: Q #16: Asks Iger to please keep the subs. Then asks about 2D Animation. A: Just trying to create great movies. People don’t think 2D or 3D, they just engage. Currently no 2D films in production but there are non-films like series of Mickey shorts recently released.
11:37a: Q #17: Any plans to raise pay for frontline cast members who “make the magic”? A: Agree they are very important. Is Disney’s intention to provide right form of compensation. Also mentions more than 10,000 jobs have been created in the parks since 2010.
11:41a: Last Q: Wants meeting in San Francisco and wants to know if Disney Dollars are continuing? A: Not aware of any plans to discontinue them at this point.
11:45a: One more Q: Asks about a tie in of Shanghai Disneyland with another property (that I didn’t understand what he said). A: No but will look into it.
And that does it for the 2014 meeting!