“The Marvels” earned just $47 million domestically over opening weekend, making it the lowest-ever opening for a Marvel movie. The low numbers have been blamed on general superhero fatigue and fallout from the recent actors and writers strikes, which affected promotional plans. Iger said prioritizing quantity over quality was also a major factor.
“Quality needs attention. … It doesn’t happen by accident. Quantity, in our case, diluted quality,” the media exec said on Wednesday at the New York Times’ DealBook Summit in New York, per NBC News. He also mentioned how “The Marvels” was filmed during the COVID pandemic, which meant less oversight.
“There wasn’t as much supervision on the set … where we have executives there really looking over what’s being done,” Iger said.
Iger was formerly the CEO of Disney from 2005 until 2020. He was replaced by Bob Chapek and then reinstated to his position in November 2022 when Chapek got fired. Iger says he’ll “definitely” leave the role in 2026 when his contract is up.
“I was disappointed in what I was seeing in the transition period and while I was out,” he said of Chapek’s performance, per Variety. “I worked hard at distancing myself from it.”
Iger said he’s been “fixing a lot of problems that the company has had, and dealing with a lot of challenges,” which he claims “were brought on by decisions that were made by my predecessor.” The exec also said some of Disney’s issues “are just basically the result of a tremendous amount of disruption in the world and in our business.”
The exec said Disney needs to be more “realistic” about movie earning potential amid the changing habits of viewers and the domination of streaming services.
Iger also addressed a question about sequels when it was mentioned how much the company’s founder despised them.
“I don’t want to apologize for making sequels,” he said, admitting that “we’ve made too many” and “we have to have a reason to make it beyond commerce.”
“We will only greenlight a sequel if we believe the story the creators want to tell is worth telling,” Iger said while confirming a fifth installment of “Toy Story” is currently in the works.