Disney’s Bob Iger Says Creative Slump in Film Slate Due to Emphasis on Quantity: ‘We Lost Some Focus’

Disney CEO Bob Iger admitted during the studio’s earnings call that the studio entered into a creative slump due to the sheer amount of content released. “We lost some focus,” he said.

The studio had 33 major releases put out in 2023 alone across all facets of their subsidiaries, including theatrical and their streaming service Disney+.

Iger did celebrate several of the titles the studio has put out this year, particularly the recent live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid,” James Cameron’s “Avatar: The Way of Water” and the Pixar animated adventure, “Elemental.” But he admitted that wasn’t enough.

“I’ve looked at our overall output, meaning the studio, [and it] is clear that the pandemic created a lot of challenges creatively for everybody,” he said. “At the time the pandemic hit we were leaning into a huge increase in how much we were making. I’ve always felt that quantity can be actually a negative when it comes to quality and I think that’s exactly what happened.”

That means, according to Iger, the studio will be consolidating how much output they have moving forward in 2023. “Working with the talented team at the studio, we’re working to consolidate, meaning make less [and] focus more on quality.”

He pointed out that 2024 will see sequels to “Deadpool” and the “Planet of the Apes” franchise, as well as a sequel to Pixar’s “Inside Out.”

“I feel good about the direction we’re headed, but I’m mindful of the fact that our performance from a quality perspective wasn’t really up to the standards that we set for ourselves,” Iger said.

As of right now, the studio has just eight films listed in various stages of development for 2024, though with the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike and the studio moving titles like “Elio” and “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” into 2025, it’s unclear how many of them will hit their original release dates.

Iger also took time to hype up the studio’s new upcoming releases, their latest Marvel feature “The Marvels” which hits theaters Friday and their 100th animated feature film, “Wish,” arriving in theaters on Nov. 22.

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