Disney tumbles as 'Roseanne' canceled, 'Solo' flops
The Walt Disney Co.’s week got off to a rough start as shares fell after a disappointing box office debut for “Solo: A Star Wars Story” and the abrupt cancellation of ABC’s top-rated sitcom “Roseanne” following a racist comment from series star Roseanne Barr.
ABC executives canceled the program, which had been one of the network’s most successful sitcoms, after Barr made a racist remark on her Twitter account about former White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett. Barr initially played down the comment as a “joke,” but later apologized.
“There was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing,” Disney CEO Bob Iger wrote on Twitter.
“Solo,” a standalone movie about the iconic “Star Wars” character, opened to lukewarm critical reviews and a box office haul of an estimated $103 million through Memorial Day weekend. That amount was below projections of $130 million to $150 million, according to the Guardian.
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Disney shares recovered on Wednesday after falling nearly 3% in trading Tuesday, outpacing the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which fell about 2%, and the S&P 500, which dropped about 1.5%.
Disney’s studio film division has been highly successful in recent months with the success of Marvel’s “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Infinity War.” The company is in the midst of closing a $52.4 billion acquisition of some 21st Century Fox film and television assets, though Comcast is said to be preparing a rival bid.