The memo addresses the six Academy Awards Disney won this year, including Best Animated Feature for “Encanto.” He says “Turning Red” became the fastest title to reach 200 million hours viewed on Disney.
Chapek also alludes to the listening tour he and other leaders went on after their failure to address Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill in a timely manner. He thanks Cast Members who met with them and states, “we are committed to using this moment as an opportunity to become an even better company, and soon you will be hearing more about our progress as we find more ways to support our employees and the communities in which we live and work.”
Read the entire memo below.
One of the best parts of my job is getting to talk about the incredible work you all do. Today, I had the opportunity to do just that as Christine McCarthy and I shared your achievements and our financial results for the second quarter. While the numbers were fantastic (you can read our press release to learn more about our performance), they don’t tell the full story.
As always, Storytelling Excellence was on full display—and I can’t think of any other company that can match the depth, breadth, and quality of our content. Our Studios earned six Academy Awards at this year’s ceremony broadcast on ABC, including Best Animated Feature for Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Encanto and Best Documentary Feature for Onyx Collective and Searchlight Pictures’ Summer of Soul. Pixar’s Turning Red became the fastest title to reach 200 million hours viewed on Disney+. We brought Marvel action to the service with Moon Knight, and added a new chapter to the Star Wars story with The Book of Boba Fett. And while not in the second quarter, I have to call out the performance of Marvel’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which opened this weekend to an incredible $450 million at the global box office—that’s the 11th-highest domestic opening weekend of all time!
Our General Entertainment team’s success was wide ranging—from buzzy new series like Pam & Tommy and The Dropout on Hulu, to the long-awaited return of FX’s Atlanta, to landmark achievements like the renewal of Grey’s Anatomy on ABC for a record-breaking 19th season. On the sports side, fans are certainly back and fully engaged with their favorite teams and events. ESPN viewership was up double digits this quarter, with success continuing through the NBA and NHL playoffs. In fact opening weekend of the NBA playoffs was the most viewed since 2014.
I could not be prouder of the Cast Members and Imagineers at Parks, Experiences and Products. Despite continuing COVID-related challenges, they posted phenomenal results as they make magical memories for Guests around the world. A highlight this past quarter was the opening of our most immersive experience yet: Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser at Walt Disney World. It’s true next generation storytelling that puts fans right in the middle of their own Star Wars adventure. Guests think it’s fantastic, and ratings are in-line with our most-loved experiences. I got the chance to celebrate the return of Disneyland’s nighttime spectaculars with Cast Members just a few weeks ago, and it was truly magical to see the beloved Main Street Electrical Parade “ignite the night” once again.
I want to close by thanking all those who met with me and our leadership team during our listening tour. Your feedback is important, your personal stories are powerful, and your dedication to our company is inspiring. As I said during those sessions, we are committed to using this moment as an opportunity to become an even better company, and soon you will be hearing more about our progress as we find more ways to support our employees and the communities in which we live and work.
Looking ahead, there is a lot to be excited about—fantastic new stories, incredible experiences, and the opportunity to create an even larger, more connected, and magical Disney universe for families and fans around the world.