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Disney boss talks Star Wars, Marvel and the plan to bring back physical media

March 12th, 2023 by Marc Comments

Have you ever heard or read a story and thought to yourself ‘how did they not work this out before? I’ve known this for years?’.

No? Well, there’s a good chance you’re about to.

Disney CEO Bob Iger has said that the company is stepping back to take a close look at all aspects of the business across movie and TV shows in light of how crazy the world of cinema, home release and streaming has become.

It would seem that they will be looking closely at how much its spending and how many shows and movies they’re putting out – he mentioned looking at the amount of Marvel sequels they make, pondering if they need three movies of one character when there’s thousands that still have fun stories to tell, adding: “If you look at the trajectory of Marvel over the next five years, you’ll see a lot of newness. Now, we’re going to turn back to the Avengers franchise, but with a whole set of different Avengers.”

On the Star Wars front, he said: “We made three what we called saga films, which is obviously the successors to George Lucas’ first six. They did very well at the box office — tremendously well as a matter of fact. We’ve made two so-called stand-alones in Rogue One and Solo. Rogue One did quite well, Solo was a little disappointing to us [financially]. It gave us pause just to think maybe the cadence was a little too aggressive. And so we decided to pull back a bit. We still are developing Star Wars films. We’re going to make sure that when we make one, that it’s the right one, so we are being very careful there.”

He added that, down the line, it’s not out of the question that they may license their properties to third parties, saying: “For a while that was verboten or something we couldn’t possibly do, because we were so favoring our own streaming platforms. But if we get to a point where we need less content for those platforms, and we still have the capability of producing that content, why not use it to grow revenue? And that’s what we would likely do.”

This is all common sense, I would have thought, however, the thing that got my attention most was that Disney are finally considering putting their streaming content out on physical media again.

Jon Favreau doesn’t think there’s a demand for original Star Wars movies to be released

One of the things that irks me most is not having the final season of Clone Wars on my Blu-ray shelf with all my other Star Wars shows or not having The Mandalorian, Book of Boba Fett, Obi-Wan, Andor on there either and I know that Marvel collectors feel the same… having the shows on Disney+ is all well and good but many of us like the idea of having those shows on our shelf, where we can see them, appreciate our collection and with Disney+ and the current plan leaves collections wanting.

But that may be no more.

“Home video, at one point as we called it, was extremely lucrative for our company,” Iger said, “We’re looking at all of that [again].”

“It’s already clear to us that the content exclusivity that we felt would be so valuable in growing subscribers was not as valuable as we thought. While eventually everything will migrate to streaming. We’re not there yet.”

Iger admits that the streaming service hasn’t been the stellar earner they hoped it was but that it’s still early days on that front, but it seems that they recognise too that as of now, streaming is not the be-all-and-end-all for everyone and many of us out there still love going to a store and picking up a physical copy of a movie or show, knowing that it’s permanent, it’s always there and it’s really and truly theirs.

Physical media is always going to be the way forward for collectors and fans alike.

Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….