Disney’s animation division is witness to a series of theatrical loss. From a
disappointing performance with Pixar’s ‘Onward’ in March 2020 to Walt Disney
Animation’s latest animated release ‘Strange World’, the company recorded a total
failure in the box-office race. Truly, this is a strange turn of events for a giant that has
been ruling the animation industry for nearly a century.
The pandemic is of course one of the reason. But then during the same period,
with the same COVID burdens and at much lower production cost Universal is
having a much better box office experience from its theatrical releases. So what
might have went wrong for Disney then. Is it the streaming service Disney+ that
come in the way of theatrical releases, or is it the animation division itself that fails.
Disney Animation Needs Reboot
Strange World is not a bad movie after all. It has all the qualities of a great
animated blockbuster – best animations, awesome characters and exciting
adventure. But still it didn’t click and the company stands at a loss of $100 million. So
Disney is in a situation now where it needs to change the way it thinks and want us
to think about the future experiences.
According to Josh Spiegel, the author of ‘Pixar and the Infinite Past: Nostalgia
and Pixar Animation’, Disney is running out of IP as it has been almost a decade
now selling nostalgia. May be the company should think about introducing new
animated franchises in near future. We have seen that successful animations are
mostly based on IPs or sequels. Non-sequel animated features often let you down.
Is Disney+ To Blame For The Downfall
One of the reasons for this downfall, as pointed out by many is the company’s
streaming service Disney+. Since the pandemic, the company has been encouraging
its audience to watch its movies on Disney+ rather than watching them in the
theatres. Disney had weakened the theatrical option even further when it allows the
streaming service to premier its movies just 45 days after the theatrical release. With
millions of views the Disney+ strategy has trained viewers to think that they can just
watch it at home.
It’s true that Disney’s streaming service is the lifeline for quite a few animated
movies, such as ‘Encanto’, ‘Lightyear’ and others. But today the movie theaters are
fully open and fans are ready to have the theatrical experience once again. So it’s
high time for Disney to figure out new ways to bring fans back to the theaters. With
Bob Iger as the new CEO, the company may be able to find the sweet space for the
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