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Bob Iger reveals Disney's new plan for Marvel: quality over quantity

Madeline Berg   

Bob Iger reveals Disney's new plan for Marvel: quality over quantity
  • Disney CEO Bob Iger plans to limit the number of Marvel films and TV shows released each year.
  • The decision follows underperformance and criticism of the quality of Marvel content.

Disney CEO Bob Iger's turn-around tour continues, and he let us in on the plan for what is arguably the House of Mouse's most successful IP: Marvel.

In Disney's first earnings call since successfully fending off a proxy battle from Nelson Peltz — and former Marvel Entertainment chairman Ike Perlmutter — Iger delineated the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The studio will now put out two or three films and two television series a year rather than four of each.

"I've been working hard with the studio to reduce output and focus more on quality," Iger said on the call.

As it undergoes a sort of reset, the only MCU movie to come out this year will be "Deadpool & Wolverine" in July. "Echo," "X-Men '97," and "Agatha" will be this year's television releases. The next Avengers film — "Avengers 5" — is scheduled for 2026.

The CEO has not been shy about his thoughts on the diminishing quality of Marvel films and television shows — something he seems to blame mostly on his short-lived successor and predecessor, Bob Chapek, even though Iger was in charge when several of them were developed.

"Some of what is coming up is a vestige of basically a desire in the past to increase volume," he said on the call.

Between 2021 and 2023, Marvel released 10 feature films and 13 TV series, including two specials, which appears to have left superhero fans fatigued.

MCU movies, which were once fail-safe, have struggled. Last year's "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" grossed less than $500 million globally on a combined production and marketing budget of about $300 million — meaning it failed to break even at the box office. "The Marvels" fared even worse, grossing only $206 million worldwide on a reported $270 million budget. Both films received poor reviews.

"I'm mindful of the fact that our performance, from a quality perspective, wasn't up to the standards we set for ourselves," Iger said on an earnings call last year.

But investors seem less confident than Iger: Disney's stock is down about 10% today.

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