Since coming back to Disney after a brief retirement, CEO Bob Iger is looking to cut $5.5 billion in overall costs including $3 billion from content creation. As part of this strategy, Bob Iger said the company is shifting focus away from the Marvel and Star Wars franchises to focus on a greater variety of projects.
The Marvel franchise alone has brought in over $18 billion spanning thirty-one films and more than half a dozen television series, well over four times what Disney paid to acquire the brand. Box office numbers this year range from great to meh, but are showing the audience’s declining interest in the never-ending number of sequels.
Part of the reason behind dwindling theatrical releases is more people are turning to streaming services over going to the theater for new releases. Disney has capitalized on this trend by releasing some films directly to its streaming platform alongside theatrical releases.
“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,” said Bob Iger to CNBC yesterday. “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.”
Disney will reconsider how it approaches these franchises from here on out. The company could set limits on the number of sequels a character is allotted. The brands continue to bring in profits for the studio, but parceling them out or adjusting focus could keep people interested while also maintaining the high standards for such productions.
Bob Iger wants to put more focus on Disney+ and new original content. He’s even entertaining the idea of granting other streaming platforms licensing agreements to Marvel, Star Wars, and other Disney originals. “I won’t rule it out,” he said.