Disney CEO reiterates that Marvel Studios has lost "focus," promises "reduced volume"

Marvel Studios is promising it's going to turn down the firehose of content, but will people ever be thirsty for superhero stuff again?
pa0364_comp_v3014.1021 – Ryan Reynolds stars as Deadpool in Twentieth Century Fox’s DEADPOOL 2. Photo Credit: Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox.
pa0364_comp_v3014.1021 – Ryan Reynolds stars as Deadpool in Twentieth Century Fox’s DEADPOOL 2. Photo Credit: Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox. /

Everyone knows by now that Marvel had a rough 2023, at least by the standards of a studio that was once the undisputed king of hit mountain. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania underperformed, The Marvels was a straight-up bomb, and Secret Invasion was the limpest TV show they've yet released on Disney+.

Disney CEO Bob Iger, who was brought in to replace outgoing CEO Bob Chapek, who was brought in to replace, funnily enough, Bob Iger, has been making mea culpas to investors for a while, saying on an earnings call last November that, “at the time the pandemic hit, we were leaning into a huge increase in how much we were making and I’ve always felt that quantity can be actually a negative when it comes to quality...And I think that’s exactly what happened. We lost some focus.”

Disney is not out of the woods yet, with recent movies like Wish doing only so-so at the box office. Iger is still on his reassurance tour, telling in investors in a more recent earnings call that the company has learned its lesson. "In our zeal to greatly increase volume partially tied to this wanting to chase more global subs for our streaming platform, some of our studios lost a little focus," he said, per ComicBookMovie. "So the first step that we’ve taken is that we’ve reduced volume, we reduced output, particularly in Marvel."

It's true that Disney seems to be pulling back on Marvel a bit, which is probably for the best. The only big Marvel movie coming out this year is Deadpool 3, which has a lot of built-in buzz thanks to star Ryan Reynolds being a one-man marketing machine. If there's one thing that man knows how to do, it's go viral.

"Looking to our 2025 theatrical slate, we're excited to bring audiences Captain America: Brave New World and Fantastic Four for Marvel," Iger continued. "Pixar has Zootopia 2, and then there's Avatar 3. And we're already looking forward to 2026 and beyond with Frozen 3, the first Toy Story movie since 2019, and a new Star Wars movie that brings The Mandalorian and Grogu to the big screen for the very first time."

There are also a couple more Marvel TV shows on the way this year, including the WandaVision spinoff Agatha: Coven of Chaos. But in general, it's clear Iger wants to pull back on the Marvel firehouse; that way, when the spigot does turn on, we'll actually be thirsty rather than waterlogged.

Or at least that's the idea. It's possible that people are just burned out on superhero stuff in general and Marvel in specific, and that there's no way the studio can go back to being the powerhouse hitmaker it once was. You and your money will determine what happens next. The first big hurdle: Deadpool 3, which comes out on July 26.

Next. mcu. All 33 movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, ranked worst to best (with The Marvels). dark

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