During the Q1 earnings call for Disney, CEO Bob Iger delivered investors some good news: more films to iconic franchises.
Following the news of nearly 7,000 jobs getting cut at Disney and a $3 billion cut in content cost, Disney’s head needed to deliver some promising information to fans and the moneymakers behind the studio.
During the call, Iger promised to focus on some of the most popular IPs Disney offers, looking to wow fans back to the cinemas after a few rough recent animated outings.
“Today, I’m so pleased to announce that we have sequels in the works from our animation studios to some of our most popular franchises: Toy Story, Frozen, and Zootopia,” Iger said. “We’ll have more to share about these productions soon, but this is a great example of how we’re leaning into our unrivaled brands and franchises.”
As for the box office, all of these franchises are relatively reliable, with the last outings for each making over a billion dollars. Frozen 2 racked up $1.45 billion in 2019, Pixar’s Toy Story 4 saw $1.07 billion in 2019, and Zootopia was a fan-favorite with $1.02 billion in 2016. Though Toy Story did see a recent spin-off, 2022’s Lightyear, that was a disaster for Disney/Pixar.
It seems like sequels will be the way of the studio since we’ve seen their more recent original outings struggle to bring in the big bucks. 2022’s Strange World tanked with under $74M worldwide; even the Oscar-winning film Encanto did just over $256M globally. It’s a far cry from the billions we saw from the sequels, which explains why Bob Iger wants to return to those as part of his effort to bring more money to Disney.
During that Q1 earnings call, Iger confirmed that Dana Walden & Alan Bergman would oversee Disney’s new Entertainment Unit, encompassing TV and film.
“Our new structure is aimed at returning greater authority to our creative leaders and making them accountable for how their content performs financially,” Iger said on the earnings call. “Our former structure severed that link and must be restored.”
With these new execs, we could see Disney Animation and Pixar return to their heydays, but it will surely take some rebuilding. Only time will tell if fans want more of Toy Story, Frozen, and Zootopia or if it’s time that Disney moves on to something else.