There is little doubt that 2023 hasn’t been a great year for Walt Disney Studios, with many of this year’s major releases like “Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny”, “Elemental”, “Haunted Mansion”, “Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania” and “The Little Mermaid” all underperforming at the box office.    While not every film from Walt Disney Studios this year is considered a flop, when these films were initially greenlighted, Disney was used to movies hitting a billion dollars much more regularly.

Disney isn’t alone in having some underperforming films at the box office this summer, with “The Flash”, “Fast X, “Mission Impossible” and “Transformers” also struggling to pull in audiences when compared to their previous instalments.   Many are pointing to the success of films like “Barbie”, which is something fresh and different, showing that cinema goers have become bored of sequels, franchises and superhero movies.   Others point to other issues, especially with Marvel films, that they’ve been producing too many films and shows, which have distracted the creators and worn out the fans, resulting in each new release no longer feeling special or an event.  Throw in complaints of political statements being made and a general feeling that many of this summer’s new films just haven’t been as good as they should have been.

Many of this year’s films have huge budgets, many of which have had inflated budgets due to additional costs from filming during the pandemic and production delays.   And the budgets for these films often don’t even include the additional costs from advertising.

During a recent quarterly investors call, Disney CEO Bob Iger, spoke about how they are going to be making some changes on future projects.  Specifically stating that

Looking to Disney entertainment studios. We’re focused on improving the quality of our films and on better economics, not just reducing the number of titles we release but also the cost per title.  And we’re maximizing the full impact of our titles by embracing the multiple distribution windows at our disposal, enabling consumers to access our content in multiple ways.”

With Disney looking to reduce costs drastically, it does look like we are going to see the impact of this for years to come, with less films, plus the projects being made are going to be made for much cheaper.  Previously, Bob Iger has spoken about wanting to make fewer titles.  As sometimes less is more.  While the movies that have already been filmed won’t be impacted, once the writer’s and actor’s strikes are over, we will likely see a big change within the Walt Disney Studios, with much more focus on films being a little leaner than spending $300 million dollars on a film like the latest “Indiana Jones” movie.

Do you agree with Disney cutting back on budgets and making less content?  Let us know on social media!



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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Twitter: Facebook:

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