In a post-Infinity War era, Marvel Studios has struggled to find its footing, as it were, with audiences and critics alike. Phase Four has been filled to the brim with tv specials, a handful of big-screen films, and many a series, but as Disney and Marvel Studios pump out a seemingly excessive amount of content that appears to be dividing viewers and fans alike, it may be high time the media juggernauts rethink their approach to quantity over quality.
During a recent earnings call last week, Disney CEO Bog Iger made it sound as though Disney and Marvel Studios are spending too much money on everything they are putting out and that they will need to re-think their financial strategy and brand curation. But Iger wasn’t just talking about Marvel Studios as he also included Pixar and Lucasfilm. Here is what Iger had to say:
“We think we have an opportunity to, through more aggressive curation, to reduce some of our costs in the general entertainment side and in general, in volume.”
“We have to be better at curating” and “reduce costs on everything that we make because while we are extremely proud of what’s on the screen, it’s gotten to a point where it’s extraordinarily expensive. And we want all the quality. We want the quality on the screen, but we have to look at what they cost us.”
If these quotes are any indication, Iger is carefully wording his approach to addressing the mediocre or even harsher responses to the Star Wars franchise, specifically the Disney+ shows (which mostly all sucked, to be honest), in addition to the MCU’s Phase 4 which was hit or miss around every turn.
If one thing is clear from Iger’s words, it’s that some executives aren’t exactly happy with how a lot of these products turned out. Desperate to grow subscriber numbers on Disney+, Disney is not performing how they want as many of its shows on both the Star Wars and MCU side have been met with poor reviews and harsh words. On the film side, both franchises have been getting slammed for seemingly aimless direction in the MCU, or being pulled in too many directions, like the Sequel Trilogy of Star Wars VII-VIX.
While Iger focused more on the idea behind the cost when talking to investors in that earnings call, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige seemed to lean more on the side of wanting to tune their focus more toward quality over quantity, something that Marvel Studios has been getting blasted for since Endgame wrapped up its theatrical run.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, here is what Feige had to say:
“I do think one of the powerful aspects of being at Marvel Studios is having these films and shows hit the zeitgeist. It is harder to hit the zeitgeist when there’s so much product out there — and so much ‘content,’ as they say, which is a word that I hate. But we want Marvel Studios and the MCU projects to really stand out and stand above. So, people will see that as we get further into Phase 5 and 6. The pace at which we’re putting out the Disney+ shows will change so they can each get a chance to shine.”
While Disney and Marvel Studios would never outright acknowledge any failure to save face, Phase 4 has been chalked full of disappointing or underwhelming deliveries in film and its smaller Disney+ exclusive shows with many feeling like they just aren’t feeling as cohesive or focused on a larger picture within the MCU. But this will all change as of literally today when the first film of Phase 5, Ant-Man & the Wasp: Quantumania, hits theaters with the sole purpose of setting up the Multiverse Saga. Unfortunately, critics have not been kind to Quantumania has it is now tied with Eternals with the lowest score in the MCU’s history at 47% (not Inhumans and Iron Fist).
Say what you will about the MCU but one thing is for certain, Marvel Studios better shape up their attention to quality and fine-tune their focus on cohesive direction as far too many films and TV shows have felt rather disappointing ever since Thanos’ snapped his fingers.