Marvel Studios Is Shifting Its Big-Screen Focus

A text of Marvel Studios

Marvel Studios

During Disney’s Q1 2024 earnings call, CEO Bob Iger addressed how the studio is adapting, revealing a major change currently taking place at Marvel Studios to improve the quality of its future movies.

The Disney boss first explained how, as discussed previously, “volume sometimes can be detrimental to quality.” He opened up about how the desire to increase output has made some of its studios “[lose] a little focus,” which is why it has “reduced output, particularly at Marvel:”

“One of the things that I’ve been saying before is that volume sometimes can be detrimental to quality. In our zeal to greatly increase volume, partially tied to wanting to chase more global subs for our streaming platform, some of our studios lost a little focus. So the first step that we’ve taken is that we’ve reduced volume. We’ve reduced output, particularly at Marvel…”

Iger interestingly noted a key change in direction with how Marvel Studios is “starting to focus on some of its stronger franchises” on the theatrical side, but didn’t elaborate on what that may mean for its slate:

“We’re very bullish about the films coming out… I’d say we’re leaning a little bit more into sequels and franchises, some that we feel great about, like ‘Toy Story’ is – for instance, obviously, Star Wars. ‘Avatar,’ we’ve talked about. Marvel is starting to focus on some of its stronger franchises going forward, but I’ll leave it at that.”

This change ought to come into force for MCU movies in 2025 and beyond, with this year’s Deadpool & Wolverine already nearing completion. Going into next year, Marvel Studios already has some major projects on the cards with Captain America: Brave New World, Thunderbolts, The Fantastic Four, and Blade.

This principle of focusing on “stronger franchises” is a major one as Marvel Studios maps out Phase 6 – which starts in 2025 and recently had its first movie delayed – and beyond.

Iger explained how “leaning on franchises” will be a “smart thing” as it continues to work for audiences leaving their homes to see a movie in theaters as opposed to waiting for streaming and digital releases:

“And I think given the environment and given what it takes to get people out of their homes to see a film, doing that, leaning on familiar franchises is a smart thing. So we’ve got work to do still. We’re not resting on our laurels or sitting on our hands. We’re working hard at it, but I feel quite good about the trajectory.”

This comes after Iger spoke to CNBC and noted how the addition of Disney+ content has “diluted focus and attention” at Marvel Studios as Marvel simultaneously worked to “increase their movie output:”

“Marvel’s a great example of that… They had not been in the TV business at any significant level. Not only did they increase their movie output, but they ended up making some television series, and frankly, it diluted focus and attention. That is, I think, more the cause than anything else.”

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The Disney CEO previously noted last year in the Q1 2023 earnings call how its movie and TV show budgets have gotten “extraordinarily expensive,” and it will now be looking to “reduce costs.”

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