WILLOW Another Disney Loss-Maker

The hits just keep on coming for Disney. And by hits, we mean violent contact, not money-spinning products that audiences embrace and payout for. The House Of Mouse simply can’t catch a break. If we had even a shred of empathy we might start to feel a little sorry for them by now.


On second thoughts, fuck them.

Another few million to be burnt on the roaring bonfire of failure that is pretty much everything Disney tries these days is to come from Willow. That show was cancelled, despite what activist creatives might try to say, because it simply wasn’t very good and audiences simply didn’t engage with it.

According to Forbes, some recently filed financial statements show that pre-production and filming of the series incurred costs of $105.9 million to Disney. Companies usually keep streaming budgets close to their chest. However, Willow was made in the UK and claimed tax relief in the form of the UK Television Tax Relief scheme. In order to do this, Disney would have had to file detailed, itemized production costs, then these would be publicly available and auditable.

Net spending on the show was reduced by a $20.4 million reimbursement for filming in the UK, and a $5.1 million grant from Welsh local government. However, this is only half the story. The statements currently do not show any expenses for post-production work via ILM’s London office. These are yet to be filed. As are the costs for the five major sets at Dragon Studios, the rental of twenty additional buildings for the purposes of creature creation, puppeteering, costuming, and special effects.


Basically, these costs are expected to double once the filings are completed.

Viewership for Willow was amongst the lowest for a Disney+ show, according to the available analytics from Samba TV, and the show was not just canceled before renewal for a second season. It was then yanked off the streamer so Disney did not have to pay any repeat fees to producers for a show that was on track to lose them significant money.

Warwick Davis, Erin Kellyman, Ellie Bamber, and Tony Revolori starred in the eight-part series, developed by Jonathan Kasdan.

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