OUT in the never-never land of Hollywood, stars are temperamental, directors unpredictable, producers little tyrants and ledgers not always to be trusted. But there is one company that has consistently turned in a good honest profit on a good honest product. Its stars generally do not throw tantrums (frequently, its stars are ink on paper). Its producer and director is a kindly mustachioed man who loves little children. And its book-keeping is as comforting to stockholders as it is honest.
This is the story of Walt Disney Productions,* which hit the big time with Mickey Mouse. For fiscal 1963, it reported the best-ever year: net profits of $6.6 million on a gross of $81.9 million vS. $5.3 million on $75.6 million in the fiscal year ended Sept. 29, 1962. And first-quarter figures were even better: 85 cents a share on a gross of $17.8 million and a net of $1.5 million vS. 76 cents, $15.3 million, and $1.3 million in the same 1963 period.
Movies are the heart of the business and the thing that started it all. Of the 1963 gross, $40.9 million (50%) came from film rentals. Disneyland, the 275-acre monument to a mouse that grew, contributed $24 million.
The Brothers Un-Grim
THERE have been many brother acts in the executive suites of Hollywood, where nepotism is not always of the highest type. One of the better such acts is the partnership of the Disney brothers. Brother Walt (immediate left) is known throughout the world. His face is recognized by millions of children and former children. But ask someone about Roy O. Disney (far left) and the answer is usually, "Who?"
Roy, 70, is president of Walt Disney Productions, a member of the board of directors, and the money-man in the family. The public knows very little about him; his entry in Who's Who is a brief four lines long. Roy has been in partnership with Walt for 40 years partnership that began with cash assets of $750, of which $500 was borrowed.
Walt, 62, the famous brother, is chairman of the board, and a footnote in the annual report explains that he is "executive producer – in charge of all productions."