The future of Marvel and Star Wars hangs in the balance at Disney. On Thursday, the company’s CEO, Bob Iger, spoke to CNBC’s David Faber where he warned Marvel and Star Wars fans that Disney will be pulling back on film content from the franchises. The move comes as animation and live-action features from both franchises have seen a decline in box-office sales.
“You pull back not just to focus, but also as part of our cost containment initiative. Spending less on what we make, and making less,” said Iger.
Disney CEO Bob Iger on Marvel and Star Wars: Pulling back to find focus and contain costswww.youtube.com
Earlier this year, Disney announced company restructuring that included $5.5 billion in cutting costs. $3 billion of that amount focused on a downsizing of content excluding sports. Iger acknowledged that Pixer animation had meager success in recent history, like this year’s Elemental, but that Marvel miniseries’ shows “zeal” to increase the original content output on streaming. In 2021 alone, Marvel released five shows to streamer Disney+: WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, What If…? and Hawkeye.
“In our zeal to basically grow our content significantly and serve our streaming offerings, we ended up taxing our people, in terms of their time and their focus, way beyond where they had been,” said Iger. “Marvel is a great example of that. It had not been in the television business at any significant level, and not only did they increase their movie output, but they ended up making a number of TV series. Frankly, it diluted focus and attention.”
Disney, who acquired Marvel for $4 billion in 2009, has increased its demand for Marvel films in the last decade, but the reception and box office response has slowly wavered. This year’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania amassed $214 million domestically and $476 million globally, close to the $216 million domestic and $406 million global sales of 2018’s Ant-Man and the Wasp. Furthermore, last year’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Thor: Love and Thunder were unable to replicate the success of their predecessors.
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