Disney CEO Bob Iger comments on the Marvel and Star Wars sequels – The Hollywood Reporter

Bob Iger

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Disney CEO Bob Iger said Thursday that his company is closely examining all aspects of its film and television content business to find the best way forward in a challenging media environment that has a linear TV business in decline and a theatrical film business with includes an uncertain future and a streaming business that’s growing but requires a path to profitability.

Speaking at a Morgan Stanley conference, Iger said the company will pay particular attention to how much it spends on content and how many projects it produces going forward.

“I’m delighted that the support I’m receiving from the company’s content creators is significant and real, in the form of a reduction in spend per content, whether it’s a TV series or a movie are straight shot up enormously and in my opinion not tolerable. Everyone agrees on that,” Iger said, adding that it was also about “understanding how much volume we need and reducing how much we make. So it’s about how much we spend on what we earn and how much we earn.”

However, Iger left open the potential to create content that the company could sell elsewhere.

“And as we try to reduce the content that we create for our own platforms, there are likely opportunities to out-license to third parties,” Iger said. “For a while that was banned or something we couldn’t possibly do because we loved our own streaming platforms so much. But if we get to a point where we need less content for those platforms and we still have the ability to produce that content, why not use it to drive sales? And we probably would.”

He added that the core content of the franchise (Marvel, war of stars, Frozenetc.) would remain exclusive to Disney’s own platforms.

“Disney is very strong, certainly the strongest brand in family entertainment,” Iger said, adding that consumers are watching the live action Little Mermaid in May: “It will remind you how strong the brand is.”

But he also had frank and interesting comments about Marvel and war of starssuggesting the company is carefully considering its approach to the future of these brands.

“What we need to look at at Marvel isn’t necessarily the volume of Marvel storytelling, but how often we draw on the well on certain characters,” Iger said. “Sequels usually work well for us, but do you need a third or a fourth, for example? Or is it time to move on to other characters? There is nothing wrong with the Marvel brand in any way. I think we just have to look at what characters and stories we dismantle.”

“And if you look at Marvel’s trajectory over the next five years, you’re going to see a lot of new things,” he added. “Now we’re going back to the Avengers franchise, but with a whole bunch of different Avengers as an example.

war of stars, we’ve done three so-called saga films, which are obviously the sequels to George Lucas’ first six. They did very well at the box office – incredibly well, in fact. We made two so-called standalones in Villain One And Solo. Villain One worked quite well Solo was a bit disappointing for us. It made us pause, only to think maybe the cadence was a little too aggressive. And so we decided to back off a bit. We’re still developing war of stars movies. We’re going to make sure it’s the right thing when we make one, so we’re very careful about that.”

At a senior level, Iger said the goal was to focus on high-quality programming while emphasizing not only the core franchise but also FX, which he praised both as a content producer and as a brand.

“You know, there’s so much consumer choice right now, and it comes down to what’s being differentiated?” Iger said. “That’s one thing that we obviously talked about, these brands: war of stars, Marvel and Disney and Pixar for example. But quality is also a differentiator.”

“I think HBO did well in their happier days when quality programming made a big difference, not volume,” he added. “And because the streaming platforms require so much volume, you have to wonder if that’s the right direction or if you can be more curated, more — I’ve used the word ‘sensible’ a couple of times — but I guess more picky about.” what you make and focus on quality not volume.”


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