Disney reported beat not beat

The not beat…

  • Disney+ total subscribers: 161.8 million versus 164 million expected

Do not like the sound of Iger’s comments on ESPN

“Actually, ESPN is a differentiator for this company. It is the best brands in television and it is one of the brands in sports. It continues to create real value for us,” he said. “The brand of ESPN is very healthy. And the programming of ESPN is very healthy. We just have to figure out how to monetize it in a continuing disruptive world.”

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Supposedly, DIS will cut $3B out of non-sports content spending. hmmm They have been cranking out sequel after sequel of cartoons and comic book stuff. They going to turn to AI created CGI everything? They already have had CGI rendering of dead stars in some of their films. Go ape with that concept, so they don’t have to pay any live talent?

A 25 year old, CGI Princess Leia, in “Rogue One” produced in 2016.




What I discovered in my art business which is small is there is so much thrown at the wall everything begins to disappear into the woodwork. Meaning the more films put out there by all sorts of studios the less money any of them can make.

Not that the revenues are not huge but in relative terms if you produce five to ten films per year or whatever Dis is doing the Disney budget is so high yet the entire movie industry revenue pool is such that a profit is harder to derive.

Switching to AI will lower costs. But the turn out of completed films by all the studios may multiply. The differences between each film may shrink among a lot of the offerings.

AI in the print world is putting up millions of new images a month. Not worth anything at all. Blocking out the light.

That is part of my rant, the focus on “franchise” properties, cranking out sequel after sequel, doing the same shtick, over and over. “Saving Mr Banks” was different, and, arguably, could have only been done by Disney. “Second Hand Lions” was different. “The Road To Wellville” was different. imho, the wheels came off “Star Wars” by “Return Of The Jedi”. I haven’t even bothered with most of the following sequels, but DIS keeps cranking them out. Go 100% CGI, then all they have to pay is a royalty to use the likeness of dead actors, then use a cheap voice actor to fill in the dialog, until they get the voice synth perfected.

Dead Peter Cushing in “Rogue One”.


They only do it because that’s what the customers want. The customers, based on all the numbers, prefer sequels over new and innovative films.

My wife and I also prefer new and innovative movies over endless sequels. But we are evidently the minority.

“ripped from the headlines”

The noon local news today breathlessly reported Disney has announced they are producing the 3rd Frozen, and 5th Toy Story movies.

I quite enjoyed “Muppets Most Wanted”, but then, I had not seen any of the earlier Muppets movies, so had not seen their shtick in 40 years.

An “all new” property is problematic for marketing. For consumers it’s a clean slate, they know nothing, and it costs money for those TV ads, billboards, social media campaigns, etc. Take a franchise movie and stack it on top of the last one, your audience already has 80% of the info they need to make a decision. Now all you have to do is make a good movie :wink:

In other news, the activist investor pushing for a Disney board seat (and who has already sent me a proxy invite) has called off his campaign saying “the Disney moves are adequate” (paraphrase). So Disney is laying off people and doing more franchise pics. Swell. That’s the way to push the boundaries.

What would Walt have done? I suspect he would have told the guy to go suck eggs.


On the “marketability” if films that are different, I happened to watch “Secondhand Lions” again the other evening. The “modern day” segments are set in the 80s, not just because that setting is needed to align with the WWI, interwar years, and early 60s segments, but that is when the story was written. The DVD supplements say the story was written in the 80s, and it took the author twenty years to find anyone willing to produce it.

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Used to be a film rode on the popularity of an actor, or director. How many people went to see a move because Hitchcock or Spielberg directed it? How many went to a movie because Humphrey Bogart or Jimmy Stewart was in it? I have rarely been disappointed by Stewart, “Mr Hobbs Takes A Vacation” being the rare disappointment.

Now, they can use second rate (cheap) talent, in front of, and behind the camera, and sell on familiarity, it like a Big Mac (which itself is pretty second rate, but unbelievably popular)

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These are only a small part of it. The bigger part perhaps is the new separation of divisions. Mainly that ESPN will be a division in itself. Give ESPN 3-4 years as a separate division (own P&L, less intertwined, etc) and it could potentially be more easily sold or spun off if that becomes necessary.

I also suspect that Iger was planning most of these changes anyway, regardless of Peltz. In fact, the presence of Peltz may even be used as an “excuse” he can use for some of the less popular changes.

Absolutely true. I’ve been seeing excellent quality coming out of Bollywood and other foreign countries (notably Korea). Just last night I saw Pathaan and enjoyed it nearly as much as any spy movie, including recent Bond movies. Sure it has over the top fight scenes, but that is Bollywood style, and of course it has one or two music/dance interludes, but again, that’s their style. The action was excellent, the story was excellent, the double/triple crosses were excellent, etc.

Yep but Walt was a major creative. Something Peltz and Iger are not at all. And Walt was the better businessman. Why? Because he had his hands in his product.


Because more people at Disney and around Hollywood like Iger he can now commence the mass firings that Chapek could only dream of. During mass executions the leader must have a friendly smile and folksy presence, and he must have been a revered leader during his previous tenure, such that no one will question the decisions he now makes.

I just read something about the decision to unincorporate the county or district of Disney Land in Florida. The decision maker in these things is only 44 years old.

The decision was extremely immature.

Corporations should not be played with just because. Does not matter what anyone believes on anything.

It’s about whipping everyone into conformity, in the name of “freeedom”.



That’s one way to look at it. The other is that they are giving someone else a chance in the business to make a name for themselves. Why should the famous rich people get all the work?


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How did the famous rich people get there? They worked. In the early 70s, a low budget, made for TV movie was produced, with Dennis Weaver being stalked by a malicious truck driver on a lonely, desert, highway. The director was a nobody, who had directed a handful of TV series episodes: Steven Spielberg.


Interesting how perceptions are often different from reality. More feature films are being released than ever before and I suspect the vast majority of them are not sequels.

Someone must be paying for and watching these films.

When I say numbers", I mean $$$ numbers! Probably half, or more, of the total box office take in 2022 was sequels/series.


The marketing goes to what was already proven to work.

Just making a film no matter how good does not mean a profit or even box office sales.

True. I also bet that most of them never get a theatrical release, or if they do it is nominal (a film festival, perhaps a week or two in a few select theaters.)

The cost of making a film has come way down: no “film” costs, cameras cheaper, editing less expensive, etc. That doesn’t mean that it can’t also cost more, because in the case of the blockbusters that occupy multiple screens at the multiplex they obviously do. So there are more films, yes, but also more sequels occupying more projection booths and hoovering the ticket dollars.