Disney+ subscriber number wows Wall Street

The Walt Disney Company on Tuesday reported big numbers for its newly launched streaming service Disney+ - sounding a warning shot to new and entrenched players in the space.

Disney+, which launched in November, reached 28.6 million subscribers as of this week. At least three Wall Street brokerages predicted that number would be closer to 20 million.

Credit Baby Yoda and the rest of The Mandalorian crew.

The Star Wars-based series, which returns for a second season next October, proved a huge draw for the service - which is available in five countries, including the U.S. and Canada.

Dominant streamer Netflix boasts over 67 million paid subscribers in the U.S. and Canada - but it began delivering online video 13 years ago.

Subscribers at streaming service Hulu, which Disney controls, climbed to more than 30 million this week from a reported 22 million roughly a year ago.

Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger on a conference call said he believes The Walt Disney Company is now, "well positioned to not only withstand the disruptive forces of technology but thrive in today's increasingly dynamic media environment."

Earnings for the quarter grew with help from healthy business at Disney's theme parks and the blockbuster performance of animated movie "Frozen 2," the highest-grossing animated film of all time.