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Walt Disney Co.

Irma effect on tourism mixed

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Florida could recover from Hurricane Irma’s wrath in time for its busy tourism season this winter, but that’s likely not the case for harder-hit Caribbean islands including St. Martin/St. Maarten, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and Barbuda, according to travel experts’ early reads.

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Stephen Colbert reaches a ratings milestone at start of Donald Trump era

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He may cringe at the thought, but is Stephen Colbert the late-night man for the Trump administration? Colbert’s “Late Show” won the late-night ratings competition last week over NBC’s Jimmy Fallon for the first time since Colbert replaced David Letterman in September 2015, the Nielsen company said. The margin was so small — 2.77 million average for CBS, 2.76 million for NBC — that CBS didn’t want to jinx its good fortune by making an executive available to talk about…

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Disney opens ‘distinctly Chinese’ Shanghai park

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Walt Disney Co. opened its Shanghai theme park Thursday, its first in mainland China, with speeches by Communist Party leaders, a Chinese children’s choir, Sleeping Beauty and other Disney characters. A Chinese vice premier joined Disney CEO Bob Iger in cutting a red ribbon as the park opened, signaling the ruling party’s endorsement of the $5.5 billion investment in promoting tourism and other service industries at a time of slowing economic growth. They read out letters of congratulations from the…

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“Star Wars: Episode VIII” release delayed to Dec. 2017

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There is a disturbance in the force. The release of “Star Wars: Episode VIII” has been delayed from May 2017 to Dec. 15, 2017, the Walt Disney Co. announced Wednesday. The date change postpones the next “Star Wars” installment set to follow the box-office hit “The Force Awakens.” Though “Star Wars” was once synonymous with the summer blockbuster, the date change means that the franchise will again look to dominate movie theaters in the holiday season. It has proven a…

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“Force Awakens” crosses $250M globally after record Friday

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“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” has already surpassed $100 million in North America and $250 million globally, setting it up for a record-breaking weekend. The Walt Disney Co. on Saturday said the film made an estimated $120.5 million from Thursday night previews and opening day Friday. That smashes the previous opening day record of $91.1 million, set by 2011’s “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2.” (Studios count Thursday night grosses as part of opening day.) Disney is projecting…

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Disney unveils Star Wars toys amid marketing blitz

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The release of the new Star Wars movie may still be months off, but Disney is unleashing its full marketing “Force” behind the launch of hundreds of toys and other items related to the film. The massive marketing blitz, which Disney has named “Force Friday,” spans all kinds of media and included an 18-hour global “unboxing” streamed live on YouTube. Meanwhile, major toy retailers planned to be open and hold special events when the toys first became available just after…

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New Disney toys combine high-tech gadgets, old-school play

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Disney is launching a line of toys that combines high-tech wearable gadgets and old-school superhero role-playing to keep kids moving while engrossing them in sub-plots from “The Avengers,” ”Star Wars” and “Frozen.” It’s Disney’s most ambitious game concept meshing real objects and virtual worlds since August 2013, when the family entertainment giant released its Disney Infinity video game that featured figurines and digital characters from “Pirates of the Caribbean,” ”Toy Story” and other franchises. The new line, called “Disney’s Playmation,”…

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