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Bob Iger admits Disney's movies aren't all that good anymore

Madeline Berg   

Bob Iger admits Disney's movies aren't all that good anymore

Disney movies aren't the magic that they used to be — and Bob Iger is well aware.

"I'm mindful of the fact that our performance, from a quality perspective, wasn't up to the standards we set for ourselves," the CEO said during the House of Mouse's fourth quarter earnings call on Wednesday.

It's nice to see Iger admit what many fans of Disney's favorite properties — Marvel and Pixar, to name a few — already know.

There's been a string of box office misses. Films like "Elemental" and "The Little Mermaid" failed to live up to revenue expectations, while "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny" was one of the studio's biggest flops in years.

Even the once fail-safe Marvel Cinematic Universe has been struggling: "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" was a big sting for the studio, and projections for the upcoming "The Marvels" aren't promising. Both received average-to-dismal reviews.

Disney's recent box office performance is a stark contrast to the run of smash hits that defined Iger's first stint as CEO, from 2005 to 2020, during which Disney broke records with "Frozen," "The Avengers" franchise, and "Black Panther." (Michael Nathanson, the analyst who asked the question, pointed this out, which Iger seems to have appreciated.)

Iger provided a measly defense of the film slate which he largely inherited, pointing out that Disney had four of the 10 biggest films of 2022, but mainly conceded that Nathanson was right.

"Quantity can be actually a negative when it comes to quality, and I think that's exactly what happened. We lost some focus," he admitted.

Iger's plan to overhaul the film studio includes being more selective of both the sequels that get made and the new original movies Disney introduces, he said on the call.

He pointed to "Wish," Disney Animation's upcoming film, as an example of a promising release.

Who knows if it's wishful thinking on Iger's part, but the first step to change is acceptance.

Correction: November 8, 2023 — An earlier version of this story misidentified the division behind "Wish." It is Disney Animation, not Pixar.

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