The rise in film profits came even as revenue slid 13% to $1.55 billion due to difficult comparisons from a year ago and weakness overseas.

Disney's biggest movies of the year are expected to be released in the current quarter. The third installment of its blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean franchise will come out this month, and Pixar Animation Studios' Ratatouille will be released in June. Iger declined to comment on his expectations for the financial performance of the films.

"The early success of Sony Pictures' ( SNE) "Spiderman III" bodes well for the movie industry this year," said CEO Bob Iger in a conference call with analysts after the earnings release.

Elsewhere, Disney's parks and resorts business posted a 19% increase in operating income to $254 million and a 9% rise in revenue to $2.45 billion, reflecting increases at its Disneyland Resort Paris, Disneyland Resort, and Walt Disney World.

The company's consumer products business reported a 20% jump in operating earnings on a 14% revenue increase.

On the conference call, Iger declined to break out a measure of the company's digital revenue, garnered from its Web sites and its sales from movies downloaded from Apple's ( AAPL) iTunes.

"Revenue we're seeing from advertising on Disney.com is up very substantially this year," Iger said. He also said the company's sites, such as Disney.com and ESPN.com, have "the ability to generate much larger revenue in the future than what we see today."

Shares of Disney were down 69 cents, or 1.9%, to $35.86 in after-hours trading. The shares tacked on 1.4% during the regular session.