Home Entertainment News Disney is Pulling Back on Making Marvel, Star Wars Content

Disney is Pulling Back on Making Marvel, Star Wars Content

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BANGKOK THAILAND - APRIL 26 ,2017 : Close up shot of Captain America Civil War superheros figure in action fighting. Captain america appearing in American comic books by Marvel. (phol_66 / Shutterstock.com)

According to CEO Bob Iger in an interview with CNBC, Disney is adjusting its approach to creating Marvel and Star Wars content. 

The company aims to reduce costs following underwhelming performances from recent films in both franchises.

Iger stated that the decision to pull back on content is part of a cost containment initiative, which involves spending less on display and focusing more effectively. Earlier this year, Disney underwent a comprehensive reorganization, targeting $5.5 billion in cost reductions, with $3 billion earmarked explicitly for non-sports content.

The CEO highlighted the company's efforts to support its flagship streaming service, Disney+, as a driving factor behind the decision. While acknowledging recent missteps in animation, he mentioned Marvel as an example of the company's enthusiastic push to expand its original streaming content. Iger admitted that this strategy had diluted focus and attention.

Disney has enjoyed immense financial success since acquiring Marvel for over $4 billion in 2009, with the franchise's movies grossing billions of dollars worldwide. However, Iger stated earlier this year that the company needed to evaluate the number of sequels each Marvel Cinematic Universe character should generate and explore new creative directions.

The 31st film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” debuted this year, marking the beginning of the franchise's fifth phase. Unfortunately, the film experienced a significant decline in ticket sales from its opening to the second weekend, receiving mixed negative reviews. In contrast, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” performed exceptionally well, grossing over $800 million globally.

Regarding Lucasfilm, there have been no new Star Wars films in theaters since 2019. The company has primarily focused on developing series for Disney+, such as “Andor” and “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” both of which received Emmy nominations. However, the fifth installment of the “” franchise, “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,” underperformed at the box office despite a strategic release date around the Fourth of July.

Nevertheless, like Marvel, Lucasfilm has been a lucrative revenue source for Disney. The company acquired Lucasfilm in 2012 for approximately $4 billion and recouped its investment within six years, thanks to successful trilogies and standalone films like “Rogue One.”

Streaming services have become the primary platform for original content, overshadowing traditional TV and distribution. Iger mentioned Disney's possibility of licensing its scope to other streaming media. Warner Bros Discovery reported talks with platforms like Netflix for HBO content. Disney has removed some content from its streaming platform.

Disney is adopting a more measured approach to content production in its Marvel and Star Wars franchises to optimize costs and refocus its efforts. The company acknowledges the importance of supporting Disney+ while considering potential licensing opportunities for its content.

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