By Jeremy Torres
Disney has suffered many setbacks in the last few years, from political troubles in Florida to a sudden change in leadership by bringing back Bob Iger. What’s more, audiences have been far less favorable about films and Disney+ series than in the past.
While Disney’s stock, bolstered by the Disney parks, is doing just fine, their films and series are struggling. In Nielsen ratings reports, Disney consistently fails to make the top ten list. Even with no new content, shows like “Stranger Things” continue to bring in more viewers than even some of Disney’s weekly new shows like “Andor.”
One of the reasons for this may be that Disney seems to be rushing its film production of both shows and movies. While Disney continues to bring in subscribers to Disney+, the actual viewership is lagging.
Usually a big draw, Disney’s original Marvel series for Disney+ have left much to be desired. While “Loki” and “WandaVision” were well received, shows like “Hawkeye,” “Ms. Marvel” and “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law” performed much more poorly.
While “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law” had mixed reviews, many commented on the underwhelming use of CGI. Animating and producing episodes with a majority of CGI characters can come at a high price and it’s as if Disney decided to take the cheaper and easier way out, rushing the show’s production rather than taking the time to do it right. The average view rating for “She-Hulk” was only 33 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Disney has had issues with their films as well. Despite pushing out more and more Marvel films at a faster pace, Phase 4 seems to have no focus. It is difficult to see how each film fits together because the connections between various films and series are only vaguely referenced rather than explicit as with the first three phases.
Although the Star Wars franchise saw a surge in popularity due to “The Mandalorian” and the very marketable Grogu, there has been an oversaturation of Star Wars series on Disney+. Along with the existing shows, Disney has announced several more to come. In a Collider interview, Lucasfilm Vice President James Waugh said that Lucasfilm is “mindful” of oversaturation but not necessarily concerned.
Even Disney’s most recent children’s film, “Strange World’ didn’t bring people to the theaters. It only brought in 72.8 million dollars worldwide despite a budget of around 180 million dollars, according to the Hollywood Reporter. This movie was previewed everywhere and was expected to drag in more people but ultimately flopped.
A similar situation happened with the live action Pinocchio starring Tom Hanks. The return of critics’ reviews were nothing short of bad with a 28 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and 38 percent on Metacritic.
Thankfully, Disney has said they plan to slow down production, according to their 2022 Annual Report. We can only hope that Disney dedicates their time in creating projects with more quality over quantity.