FORBES.COM NAMES DISNEY HOME TO THREE OF TOP FIVE
MOST VALUABLE CHARACTER FRANCHISES IN THE WORLD
Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh Estimated at $5.8 and $5.3 Billion, Respectively
BURBANK, Calif. (October 21, 2004) – The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), owns three of the top ten character franchises according to Forbes.com's annual "Top Earning Fictional Characters List." Forbes.com estimates the top-ten fictional characters grossed more than $25 billion in 2003. Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh - number one and two, respectively -- topped all character franchises, with Disney/Pixar's $860 million box office blockbuster, Finding Nemo, rounding out the top five. Collectively, all three character franchises amount to nearly half the combined retail sales of the entire "Fictional Billionaires" list. Disney's Power Rangers and Disney/Pixar's Buzz Lightyear were included in Forbes.com's "Near Misses" list. Forbes.com's complete list can currently be viewed at: www.forbes.com
"At Disney, we strive to develop characters that engage a child's imagination, tell stories that connect with families and find ways for our characters to live on in the hearts and minds of children everywhere," said Matt Ryan, senior vice president of brand management at The Walt Disney Company. "The consistent top ranking of Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh on Forbes.com's list tells us that these characters live on with new generations. And we will continue to introduce classic characters, like Nemo, which children can enjoy for years to come."
Mickey and his friends, Donald, Goofy and Pluto accounted for $5.8 billion in retail sales, up from $4.7 billion in 2003, to claim the top spot from Disney's other multi-billion dollar character franchise, Winnie the Pooh.