Disney CEO Blames Pandemic for Dismal Box Office Results, Calls for Revitalization
In a recent speech at the New York Times business summit, Disney CEO Bob Iger admitted that the studio’s recent film, “The Marvels,” has suffered from disappointing box office results, and he pointed to the pandemic as a major contributing factor.
“The Marvels was shot during Covid,” Iger explained. “There wasn’t as much supervision on the set, so to speak, where we have executives [that are] really looking over what’s being done day after day after day.” He listed a number of reasons for the studio’s lagging film results, including streaming and messaging.
“The experience of accessing [the films] and watching them in the home is better than it ever was,” Iger said. “And [it’s] a bargain when you think about it. Streaming Disney+ you can get for $7 a month. That’s a lot cheaper than taking your whole family to a film. So, I think the bar is now raised in terms of quality about what gets people out of their homes, into movie theaters.”
Iger also acknowledged that messaging in recent films has turned off a certain audience segment. “Entertain first, not messages,” Iger said, adding that “positive messages for the world” sometimes overwhelmed storytelling.
Despite the disappointing results, Iger expressed optimism about the future, announcing plans for Disney to release “Deadpool 3,” “Inside Out 2,” and “Mufasa: The Lion King” next year.
Looking back at past successes, Iger noted, “I’m not sure another studio will ever achieve some of the numbers that we achieved. I mean, we got to the point where if a film didn’t do a billion dollars in global box office, we were disappointed. That’s an unbelievably high standard and I think we have to get more realistic.”
Iger’s speech highlights the challenges that traditional movie studios are facing as the entertainment industry continues to evolve, and it serves as a call to action for Disney to revitalize its film offerings and adapt to changing consumer preferences.