Disney is rethinking its approach to the number of sequels and spin-offs for its well-known Star Wars and Marvel franchises, CEO Bob Iger said on Thursday. He related that the company’s most recent movies have shown diminishing returns.
Iger promised a quality-over-quantity strategy for Star Wars and Marvel during a speech at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media, and Telecom Conference in San Francisco.
Specifically mentioning the Star Wars sequels and spin-offs he said “the cadence was a little too aggressive” and they decided to “pull back a bit.” Iger singled out 2018’s 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' as “a little disappointing” and the catalyst for the change of course.
The movie was met with lukewarm critical response, and according to reports, failed to break even when compared to its production and promotion budgets. The CEO said the company still has Star Wars movies in the works, but added that they were “going to make sure that when we make one, that it's the right one, so we are being very careful there.”
Disney had already announced several new films set in “a galaxy far, far away,” but some of those were canceled recently, like Patty Jenkins' 'Rogue Squadron' and an unnamed Star Wars project with Kevin Feige.
When it comes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Iger said that “there’s nothing in any way inherently off” with the brand. He stressed that the company needs “to look at what characters and stories we’re mining” and wondered if certain superheroes really needed “a third and a fourth” sequel or if the company should have moved on to someone else.
Last month’s 'Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,' the third movie in the series, experienced the steepest second-weekend box office drop of any MCU title. Similarly, 2022’s 'Thor: Love and Thunder,' the fourth movie for eponymous hero, also saw a significant drop off in ticket sales.
Iger served as CEO of Disney from 2005 to 2020, during MCU’s rise in popularity. He was asked to return in 2022, after the sudden dismissal of his successor, Bob Chapek.
Despite the announcement of a new approach for Star Wars and Marvel, Disney confirmed in February that 'Zootopia 2,' 'Frozen 3' and 'Toy Story 5' were all in production.