Disney is restructuring things at the studio. After the years of the COVID pandemic, and the hit movie studios and theatres took when having to close down for a period of time, and now during the months-long strikes in Hollywood, Disney is taking a step back from their previous patterns and is deciding their new way forward.
During the company’s recent quarterly earnings call, Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed (via ComicBook) that he will have a more day-to-day involvement in the studio’s theatrical slate, to ensure that the upcoming projects are as well-executed as possible. He explained:
“Next is the need to strengthen the creative output of our film studio, which generates value throughout the entire company. To achieve this, we are focusing heavily on the core brands and franchises that fuel all of our businesses and reducing output overall, to enable us to concentrate on fewer projects and improve quality while continuing our efforts around the creation of fresh and compelling original IP. I’m devoting considerably more of my time to this with the goal of improving returns, always seeking to exceed the level of creative excellence audiences expect from Disney. Meanwhile, we have four of the top 10 highest grossing films of the global box office this year, including Pixar’s Elemental, which has grossed nearly a half a billion dollars worldwide. In addition to being the most viewed film released this year on Disney+.”
Iger also spoke about Disney’s place in the recent movie market, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Recently, we did have four really strong titles, and for the top 10 in in the past year, led by (Avatar: The Way of Water), of course, but there were other successes too,” Iger continued. “That said, as I looked at our overall output, it’s clear that the pandemic created a lot of challenges, creatively, for everybody, including for us. In addition, at the time the pandemic hit, we were leaning into a huge increase in how much we were making, and I’ve always felt that quantity can be actually a negative when it comes to quality I think that’s exactly what happened. We lost some focus. And so, working with the talented team at the studio, we’re looking to and working to consolidate — meaning make less, focus more on quality. We’re all rolling up our sleeves, including myself, to do just that. We have obviously great assets, great stories to tell from the assets that we either have or that we purchased. And I feel really optimistic about the slate going forward, which is going to be a balance between some really strong sequels to some very very popular titles, as well as some good original content, starting with Wish, which comes out Thanksgiving weekend. So I feel good about the direction we’re headed, but I’m mindful of the fact that our performance, from a quality perspective was really up to the standards that we set for ourselves.”
Disney’s upcoming slate includes Wish, hitting theatres this month on November 22nd; Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes hits theatres on May 24th, 2024; Inside Out 2 is expected on June 14, 2024; Mufasa: The Lion King is expected on July 5th, and The Amateur has a release date of November 8, 2024. Marvel Cinematic Universe entries include Deadpool 3, Captain America: Brave New World, and Thunderbolts. The studio’s live-action remake of Snow White has been delayed to 2025 amid the ongoing SAG-AFTRA actors’ strike.