The Bob Iger Pity Tour has become something of a fixture with Disney now. Ever since his return as CEO of Disney he has been talking about, and making excuses for, things not quite going according to plan. This is despite the fact that most of the issues they now face stem from seeds planted on his watch the first time around, and that he has been saying broadly the same things since his return with very little sign of change or action.
In the latest installment, he appeared at The New York Times‘ annual BookDeal summit earlier in the week where he had plenty more excuses.
First up was The Marvels. The worst box office take of the MCU and an outright bomb. The excuse this time? You guessed it. COVID!
“The Marvels was shot during COVID, there wasn’t as much supervision on the set, so to speak, where we have executives there, really looking over what’s being done day after day after day.
Quality needs attention to deliver quality, it doesn’t happen by accident. And quantity, in our case, diluted quality — and Marvel has suffered greatly from that. I would say right now my number one priority is to help the studio turn around creatively.”
Iger does make a good point, that series of over-billion-dollar grosses has set a bar so high that everything feels like a comedown after that high. :
“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 also echoes Outposters (who, as we know, are usually correct – Avatar 2 notwithstanding) when he talks about streaming hurting the cinema experience and the “Big Movie” feel of a Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, or Disney release:
“I think we’ve conditioned the audience to expect that these films will be on streaming platforms relatively quickly and that the experience of accessing them and watching them in the home is better than it ever was. One, easier to access in terms of the technology and two, just the visuals – better sets in your living room than before – and a bargain when you think about it.”
Iger also talked about many sequels, and gave a view of his feelings about the time of Bob Chapek in the big chair, proving it is always easy to blame the guy who has just left, whether you are in the mailroom or the boardroom.
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