In 2022, Bob Iger reassumed leadership at Disney following the termination of CEO Bob Chapek. Prior to this, Iger had guided the company for approximately 15 years and personally selected his successor. During Chapek’s tenure, Iger continued to oversee the company’s creative initiatives in 2020 and 2021. He has recently acknowledged that the strategic direction Disney pursued in recent years was flawed.
On November 29, during his address at the DealBook Summit in New York, Iger stated, as per reports, that Disney’s creative teams have veered away from their primary goal. He clarified that their foremost objective should be entertainment, emphasizing that the content should prioritize entertainment over conveying messages.
Iger attempted to attribute the shift in focus to Chapek’s leadership, without explicitly naming the former CEO. He asserted that the choice to prioritize messages over storytelling reached its peak in 2022, a period when he was not occupying the CEO position.
Iger highlighted the “Black Panther” franchise as a positive illustration of the company’s intention to integrate its values into films, aiming for a constructive influence on the world across various dimensions.
Iger expressed his pleasure in captivating global audiences by incorporating positive messages into films. However, he emphasized that this should not be the primary goal. He is working towards steering the company away from this theme and returning to Disney’s foundational principles.
In recent years, Disney has faced a string of setbacks. One notable instance is the production of “Raya and the Last Dragon,” which incurred costs of $100 million. To break even, the film needed to generate approximately $250 million, but it fell short, earning only $130 million. “Strange World” proved to be another financial disappointment for the company. To reach the break-even point, Disney needed to generate $450 million, but the film only managed to gross $73 million at the box office.
Iger intends to reduce the quantity of movies produced by the company and concentrate on enhancing the quality of films released in theaters. The effectiveness of this new strategy in revitalizing the struggling entertainment giant remains uncertain.