So, "The Lone Ranger" was a disaster. That much we know.
In its extended holiday weekend opening, the $225 million (!!!) film took in barely a fifth of its budget at the box office. Analysts are now projecting a write-down for Disney as large as $190 million. That sounds bad. It is bad.
But it's also a good time to remind people less familiar with the Walt Disney Company that, despite what you think, Disney isn't strictly speaking "a movie company." It's a TV company.
What does that mean? Doesn't Disney make movies? Yes. Lots of movies. And it owns amusement parks, all over the world. And cruise ships. And merchandise. But if you look at Disney's financials, the majority of its earnings don't come from its film studio. They come from its TV holdings: cable networks, particularly ESPN and the Disney Channel, and ABC.
Take a look. (Broadcasting, here, refers to its ABC ownership.)
Financial reports aren't perfectly precise snapshots of a company's identity. Movie accounting is totally wacky and the studio division might not reflect its true significance to the parent company. Without its movies, you might say, Disney wouldn't have much of a merchandise business. Without its movies, it wouldn't have much of an amusement park business. It wouldn't have characters and plots of spin off and license on TV. And so on.