star wars The 2022 celebration in Anaheim kicked off May 26, the day before waltz disney (SAY -0.04%) published Obi Wan Kenobi on Disney+. When asked to make closing remarks, actor Anakin Skywalker and Obi Wan Kenobi Star Hayden Christensen said: “This is where the fun begins.”

The expression is a tribute to an identical line of Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith. But it’s also a prelude to what could happen for both of them. star wars and Disney itself.

Down 45% from its all-time high and about the same price as five years ago, Disney stock hasn’t given investors much smiles lately. However, the House of Mouse has major projects underway and the tide could turn. Here’s why the fun may be about to begin for Disney stocks and what makes the company a compelling long-term investment right now.

Image source: Getty Images.

A good start to the year

Disney’s stock may be down. But the company has done everything in its power to rebound from pandemic-induced setbacks, namely a slowdown in park and movie attendance.

Disney’s national parks are thriving again. The company reported its highest second-quarter revenue and operating profit in its parks segment. And this despite the headwinds associated with the omicron variant.

At the time of this writing, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of MadnessDisney’s first major film of 2022, is closing in on $375 million in domestic box office grossing and surpassed $877 million worldwide, making it the highest-grossing film to date in 2022. performance is even more impressive once you think about it doesn’t include revenue from Russia and China.

A stacked deck

strange doctor was a great success. But as Christensen said, the fun has only just begun. A Buzz Lightyear film about toy story character background — called Light year — releases June 17, followed by another Thor film in July, the second Black Panther movie in November, and Avatar 2 in December. And these are just headlines.

According to a tweet from Disney+ on May 31, Obi Wan Kenobi was the most-watched opening weekend premiere in Disney+ history based on airtime. But similar to strange doctor, Obi Wan Kenobi is just the tip of the iceberg for what Disney has in store for Disney+ in the years to come.

In the star wars universe alone, Andor set to arrive on Disney+ on August 21, followed by Bad lot season 2 in fall 2022, Tales of the Jedi in the fall of 2022, The Mandalorian season 3 in February 2023, Adventures of Young Jedi in the spring of 2023, Star Wars: Visions 2 in the spring of 2023, and Star Wars: Skeleton Crew later in 2023. Needless to say, Disney is unleashing wave after wave of success both in theaters and through Disney+ as a way to make up for lost time (and lost revenue) during the worst of the pandemic.

Disney does what it does best: tell stories, develop character arcs, fill stories, and ultimately enrich the content of its most beloved worlds with shows, movies, merchandise, and attractions at its parks. theme.

Is it fun enough?

There’s no doubt that Disney is patiently waiting for 2022 and 2023 to be its comeback years after a disappointing 2020 and 2021. But Disney is a business and needs to prove that these efforts aren’t just favors for their fans, but can also boost their bottom line.

Contrary to some opinions, Disney is not short of ideas. If anything, the flawless performance of strange doctor and the opening reception of Obi Wan Kenobi proving that Disney fans are more excited than ever for content. But because Disney+’s long-term viability is uncertain, and Disney has yet to prove it can grow park revenue and set new blockbuster records, Disney stock is languishing.

However, the long-term risk/reward for Disney stocks has arguably never looked better. The company has done a good job as one would hope in bouncing back from its weak pandemic performance. Disney remains an incredibly influential integrated media company that has been creating content for far longer than most studios as well as other streaming platforms.

Given the depth of its existing content and the potential to create more, streaming is a natural choice for Disney. Investors who believe Disney+ will be a long-term success are essentially getting the service for free, given that Disney stock is at the same price as it was five years ago, i.e. before the record financial year. from Disney in 2019 and the launch of Disney+ in 2019.

Add it all up and it’s easy to see why Disney could become a much bigger company than it is today. It’s only a matter of time before the fun begins for Disney shareholders.