Week's Winners and Losers: Hasbro Plays, Disney World Fades
JetBlue (JBLU) -- Loser
One of the lone remaining holdouts among major airlines that don't charge for checked baggage is changing its tune. JetBlue will now be charging as much as $25 for a checked bag, no doubt contributing to the same problem with legacy carriers struggling with overhead cabin space as passengers turn to rolling carry-ons to lug around their travel essentials.
Now it's true that JetBlue is lowering its fee for the second checked bag from $50 to $35, but that's not much of a consolation prize. We're still talking about a passenger with two checked bags having to go from paying $50 before to $60 now for those same two bags. JetBlue is doing this at a time when the cyclical industry is at the top of its game, as low jet fuel costs and buoyant bookings are combining for record profitability. The move doesn't make sense. JetBlue now becomes one of the bad guys in the eyes of consumers. Tell me that at least the unlimited in-flight snacks of animal crackers and blue potato chips are still complimentary.
U-verse -- Winner
It seems as if the scariest things on television these days are the expiring carriage rights scenarios between major networks and the television service providers. The industry skirted another potential disaster this week as AT&T's (T) U-verse and CBS (CBS) reached an agreement to keep local CBS stations and CBS-owned Showtime on the air for U-verse customers.
It would have been a lose-lose situation. U-verse would've suffered cancellations from customers if CBS and Showtime were blacked out, and CBS would've lost out on local network ad revenue and premium Showtime subscriptions. It's a situation that cleaned itself up with the deadline looming, and for that, U-verse is a winner.
Selfie Sticks -- Loser
On Tuesday, Disney (DIS) banned guests from taking selfie sticks into its Disneyland and Disney World theme parks, sending shares of wearable camera darling GoPro (GPRO) lower on the news. Disney had prohibited the use of selfie sticks on many of its attractions earlier for safety concerns, but now it won't let the extendable camera sticks into any of its six theme parks across Florida and California.
Selfie sticks have become punch line fodder, but a lot of that comes from the unfortunate name. Selfie-stick users often use them to take group shots without having to leave somebody out or trouble a passing stranger. In the end, it doesn't matter. The extended camera mounts aren't going to Disney World anymore.
Hasbro (HAS) -- Winner
It's time to see if Hasbro can mine box office gold from another of its game properties. Hasbro and Lions Gate (LGF) are teaming up to make a movie based on the toy giant's Monopoly board game. Andrew Niccol -- best known for his work on "The Truman Show" -- has been tapped to write the screenplay.
A Monopoly movie seems far-fetched, but Hasbro has been able to turn its Transformers and G.I. Joe action figures into major theatrical properties. Battleship and Ouija didn't pan out as well, but you can't go anywhere without rolling the dice. That's something that Monopoly gamers know all too well.
Disney World -- Loser
Disney also made news for confirming the closure of two attractions at its massive Florida resort. On Monday it revealed that it will be closing down a popular animation-themed attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios. The move will pave the way for yet-to-be-announced replacements, but closing four attractions over the past year at Disney World's least visited park isn't going to help justify stiff admission prices this summer.
Then Tuesday, Disney confirmed that it will be closing DisneyQuest, a five-level high-tech arcade in the Downtown Disney retail area of the resort. It will be replaced by an NBA-themed venue, but the rub for consumers here is that DisneyQuest admission is included in the chain's premium annual passes. Disney is unlikely to credit passholders for the subtraction when it does close, and that's more goofy than Goofy.
Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz owns shares of Walt Disney. The Motley Fool and owns shares of GoPro, Hasbro, Lions Gate Entertainment and Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. Looking for a winner for your portfolio? Check out The Motley Fool's one great stock to buy for 2015 and beyond.