Through Monica Miller
Toy Story, Frozen, and Zootopia sequels have been confirmed by Disney CEO Bob Iger as he outlined strategies to revive the company’s streaming business.
Mr. Iger claimed that sequels are “in the works” at Disney’s animation division.
The company also disclosed its first decline in subscriber counts since the debut of its Disney+ streaming service in 2019.
And Mr. Iger declared that he would radically restructure the entertainment industry giant, eliminating 7,000 positions.
Mr. Iger discussed his aspirations to monetize some of the company’s largest properties during a teleconference with investors.
I’m extremely happy to report that our animation studios are working on sequels to some of our most well-known brands, including Toy Story, Frozen, and Zootopia.
We’ll have more information on this production to offer in the near future, but for now, this is a great illustration of how we’re leveraging our unmatched brands and franchises.
The third installment of the Frozen franchise and a second Zootopia would be the most recent films. There have already been four Toy Story movies along with the spin-off Lightyear from the previous year.
The announced job losses, which represent around 3.6% of Disney’s global staff, are a part of a strategy to save $5.5 billion (£4.5 billion) and turn Disney+ into a lucrative streaming service. In his own words, Mr. Iger “did not make this decision lightly.”
The modifications coincided with its most recent quarterly results, his first since he rejoined Disney in November.
We will be “better positioned to weather future disruption and global economic challenges,” according to Mr. Iger, as a result of the adjustments.
Disney claimed that between October and December of last year, sales increased by 8% to $23.5 billion. Profit increased by 11% to $1.3 billion.
Disney+, on the other hand, revealed a $1.5 billion loss and saw a decline in subscribers of almost 2.4 million, to 161.8 million.
According to the strategy, the business will be divided into three segments: Disney parks, experiences, and products; sports-focused ESPN; and entertainment, which includes movies, television, and streaming services.
On a conference call with analysts, Mr. Iger stated, “This reorganisation will result in a more efficient, coordinated approach to our operations.”
He also said that the company’s streaming business remained its top objective.
Following the announcement, Disney’s stock price increased by more than 5% in after-hours trade.
Disney hasn’t gotten the success it would have hoped for in recent years when developing new cartoon brands.
Strange World, its first significant post-Covid release, was a commercial disappointment. While the movie performed significantly better on Disney+, it’s more probable that it was seen and appreciated by the service’s current customers rather than drawing in new subscribers.
Therefore, the announcement of these sequels comes as little surprise. Maximizing the utilisation of popular items in Disney’s existing back library was one of Bob Iger’s primary initiatives during his prior tenure as the company’s CEO.
The most recent installments of Toy Story, Frozen, and Zootopia all earned more over $1 billion at the worldwide box office (Zootropolis in the UK). Disney’s eventual return to them was thus perhaps unavoidable.
Even though we don’t know when they’ll likely be published, their simultaneous announcement sends a strong message to investors and audiences that Disney will keep investing in areas that have historically been successful while slashing employment and seeking for cost savings.
It undoubtedly expects that popular films like these will help draw more people to Disney+ in addition to doing well at the regular box office.
“Disney has been in quite a bit of problems over the last year or so and in particular with trying to make its streaming business successful,” said Freddy Colquhoun, investment director at JM Finn, to the BBC.
But he claimed that the outcomes exceeded his expectations and “were actually pretty reassuring.”
Nelson Peltz, a billionaire activist investor, recently criticised Disney for overspending on its streaming business. Disney’s modifications respond to some of his points.
Trian Group, owned by Mr. Peltz, responded to the news by saying, “We are glad that Disney is listening.”
Less than a year after he abruptly left the company, Mr. Iger returned as Disney’s CEO.
He was rehired to guide the business through trying times as its stock price crashed and Disney+ kept turning a loss.
Bob Chapek, who took over as CEO in February 2020, was succeeded by Mr. Iger, who oversaw Disney for 15 years prior.
After Disney’s streaming division reported a $1.5 billion quarterly deficit, Mr. Chapek was fired.
Less than 24 hours after his return to Disney, Mr. Iger said that he was preparing a significant restructuring of the company.
He claimed to have given a team of executives the goal of creating “a new structure that puts more decision-making back in the hands of our creative teams and rationalises costs” at the time.