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Disney's shareholders meeting: 'Star Wars' on DVD, 'Captain America' and theme park prices

Walt Disney Co. had plenty to boast about at the company’s annual shareholders meeting in Chicago: record profits, huge ticket sales from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and for this weekend’s animated movie “Zootopia.” Chief Executive Bob Iger credited the company’s success to its acquisitions of Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel and Lucasfilm. He announced that Disney would add two new cruise ships to its fleet, begin construction next month on a “Star Wars” land at Disneyland, and that “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” will be available for digital download on April 1. But Iger also fielded some pointed questions from investors about how Disney was responding to Wall Street’s anxieties over subscriber losses at ESPN.

'Captain America: Civil War' footage turns America's hero into a wanted man

 (Film Frame / TNS)
(Film Frame / TNS)

Walt Disney Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Robert Iger showcased a collection of new footage from the company's slate of upcoming films at its annual shareholder meeting Thursday in Chicago.

Most notable was a lengthy clip from the Marvel Studios film "Captain America: Civil War,” which centers on the fracturing of the Avengers into opposing factions. 

Shareholders question Bob Iger about theme park pricing

 (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Some Walt Disney Co. shareholders took the opportunity at the annual meeting to grill Chairman Bob Iger on issues including price increases at Disney's theme parks. 

One shareholder complained about Disneyland's 35% price increase for its top-tier annual pass, to more than $1,000 — a move that has upset many hardcore fans.

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Disneyland to start building its 'Star Wars' land in April

 (Disney Parks)
(Disney Parks)

Construction will begin next month on "Star Wars" land, the biggest expansion of Disneyland in decades, Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Robert Iger announced at the company's annual shareholders meeting, saying the attraction "will be great."

At the meeting in Chicago, Iger said groundbreaking for the 14-acre "Star Wars"-themed land will take place in April, adding that the area will feature two attractions, including a ride that lets visitors pilot the Millennium Falcon, the spaceship flown by Han Solo in the movies.

Bob Iger vs. the angry shareholder

ESPN is a 'healthy business,' but growth is slowing

 (AP Photo / David Kohl)
(AP Photo / David Kohl)

The future business prospects of ESPN were the subject of much discussion at the Walt Disney Co.'s annual shareholders meeting in Chicago on Thursday.

During a question-and-answer session with shareholders, Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger fielded queries about the company's response to Wall Street's concerns over subscriber losses and other issues hampering ESPN.

"There's this perception of ESPN dragging us down," one shareholder said.

Iger noted that ESPN is the most-watched sports network in the country, viewed by more than 200 million people each month.

"ESPN is a healthy business and a large business," Iger said.

But, he added, it was unlikely that ESPN would continue to grow at the rate it has over the past 15 years or so.

Bob Iger's favorite character is ... Orange Bird?

Disney Cruise Line to add two new ships

 (Disney Cruise Line)
(Disney Cruise Line)

Walt Disney Co. is adding two new ships to its cruise line, the company said Thursday at its annual shareholder meeting in Chicago.

The new ships, which will expand Disney Cruise Line's fleet to six, are scheduled to be completed in 2021 and 2023. Each ship will be about 135,000 gross tons and include 1,250 guest staterooms, the company said.

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What about 'Deadpool'?

Why no tours of Pixar?

And the 'Star Wars' DVD will be released...

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" will be available on DVD, Blu-ray and digital in April. (Disney)
"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" will be available on DVD, Blu-ray and digital in April. (Disney)

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" will be available for digital download on April 1 and DVD on April 5, the Walt Disney Co. announced at its annual shareholders meeting Thursday morning.

Walt Disney Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Robert Iger shared the news of the home entertainment release but did not screen any new footage from future "Star Wars" films.

Disney has lots to brag about at annual meeting but may feel some heat

Robert Iger, Walt Disney’s chairman and chief executive (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
Robert Iger, Walt Disney’s chairman and chief executive (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Burbank-based Walt Disney Co. is coming off a fiscal first quarter in which it generated record net income, powered by the success of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," which has grossed more than $2 billion worldwide since being released in December.

But the company also posted a 6% decline in operating income for its media networks unit, which includes ESPN and other television networks.

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