Disney CEO Bob Iger says the company is pulling back on the output of Marvel and Star Wars projects after citing notable underwhelming performances at the box office. Iger says that it will begin slowing down the production of Marvel Studios and LucasFilm movies and television series in an effort to prop up the company’s flagship streaming service, Disney+, while also avoiding audiences potentially losing interest in the IPs.
Speaking to CNBC in a recent interview, Iger spoke candidly about Disney’s plans to cut back on the speedy development of new projects from the likes of Marvel Studios, LucasFilm and Pixar. “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+ is seemingly the company’s big focus right now as it attempts to attract more customers. However, Iger directly addressed the issue that Marvel’s output of new TV series directly led to audiences becoming less interested in new Marvel projects as a whole as the market became too “diluted.” As Iger puts it:
“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.”
Iger briefly talked about Pixar during the interview as well, acknowledging that the animation studio had some misses in recent months that underperformed at the box office – a trend which started with the release of Onward in 2020 and followed with Luca, Turning Red, Lightyear and most recently Elemental, all of which scored favourably with critics but were deemed box office failures. Elemental‘s theatrical run has yet to end, so it’s possible for the movie to bounce back.
Finally, Iger noted that he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of licensing Disney content to other streaming platforms, so there’s a small chance that we’ll see Disney shows and movies potentially come to other services like Netflix and HBO Max down the line.
In the meantime, the Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) has banded with SAG-AFTRA for a historical strike currently taking place in Hollywood, demanding fair wages for both actors and writers in the industry.