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Disney's Movies Come to Rescue as Analysts Still Fret About ESPN's Lost Subscriber Count

Hollywood loves its blockbusters. And no one churns them out these days like Walt Disney (DIS - Get Report) . Its latest theatrical offering, Captain America: Civil War, opened in 37 foreign markets with a stiff $241 million even before its U.S. premiere Friday, giving Disney the top three films this week in the fast-growing foreign market with previously released Zootopia and The Jungle Book.

Disney's hot streak at the box office has Wall Street analysts tearing up their own scripts before Disney announces its fiscal second-quarter earnings on May 10. While the Street continues to worry about cable behemoth ESPN's falling subscriber count, analysts hiked earnings estimates for Disney to $1.40 a share from $1.23 a year ago, according to a consensus of 32 analysts compiled by Yahoo! (YHOO - Get Report) .

Michael Nathanson, senior analyst with MoffettNathanson, for instance, last month increased his forecast for Disney's earnings by 5 cents a share, above the consensus to $1.45, based on the unexpectedly large box office for animated hit Zootopia and spillover from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which opened on Dec. 18 but continued to play strongly into 2016.

The iconic space adventure has generated nearly $2.1 billion in worldwide...


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