Over the next four years, Disney plans to spend $64 billion — with a “B” — on original content for its streaming platforms — Disney+, Hulu, and EPSN.
Sixty-four BILLION dollars. That’s $16 billion a year, which is probably four to five times what Disney spent each year on feature films.
Eight to nine billion a year will be spent alone on Disney+ each year!
“Disney promised a deluge of new shows, many based on familiar characters, brands and franchises — including 10 new Marvel series and 10 “Star Wars” series over the next few years,” reports TheWrap. “Disney+ will also roll out 15 live-action and animated series as well as 15 original features[.]”
“The goal, outgoing CEO Bob Iger said, is to launch two new shows or movies each week on Disney+ by 2024.”
For right now, at least, Disney is still committed to releasing movies, like Marvel’s Black Widow (currently scheduled for a May release) in the pre-pandemic method. Everyone was wondering if Disney would do what Warner Bros. just did — announce that its theatrical titles would appear on Disney+ on the same day they hit theaters.
It didn’t surprise me, Disney didn’t go this route. Why not let Warner Bros. be the guinea pig. Besides, by the time May rolls around, Disney will know if the theatrical business is picking up. They can always make a final decision then. In the meantime, this leaves all their options open.
Get this… Disney is bringing Hayden Christensen back to play Darth Vader in the new streaming series, Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi, which debuts in 2022 and stars Ewan McGregor, who’s reprising his role as Obi Wan Kenobi, from the prequel trilogy.
LucasFilm chief, Kathleen StarWarsDestroyer Kennedy, described this as “the rematch of the century,” because that’s just how fucking stupid she is.
When does the Jar Jar Binks series premiere?
Disney+ will also offer all these Star Wars TV series: Rangers of the New Republic, something called Ahsoka, Andor, Star Wars: The Bad Batch, Star Wars: Visions, Lando, The Acolyte, A Droid Story, Stormtrooper Dance Off, and Dude, Where’s My X-Wing Fighter?
Only the last two were made up by me.
As far as feature films, everything Kathleen StarWarsKiller Kennedy had planned imploded with the shocking failure of her sequels and spin-offs, so instead of two Star Wars feature films a year (i.e., Marvel), all they got on tap is something called Rogue Squadron for Christmas 2023. Wonder Woman’s Patty Jenkins will direct.
That’s it. ONE movie. What a catastrophe. If Kathleen StarWarsKiller Kennedy was a guy, she would have been fired years ago. Affirmative action is a beautiful thing. Everyone knows that the only reason The Mandalorian is a success is because Jon Favreau is in charge of it, not Kennedy. And The Mandolorian is the only Kennedy-era Star Wars product everyone likes and respects.
Back to my original point…
This is how big streaming is. Sixty-four billion-big, and it’s not as if Disney+ is like HBO Max, struggling to pick up subscribers. With 86 million subscribers, Disney+ is second only to Netflix in having a solid customer base, a steady stream of hundreds of millions of dollars a month. Not a year. Every month.
Across all its streaming outlets, Disney has 137 million subscribers, so now we’re talking about a billion-plus dollars a month. A month!
Netflix has more than 200 million subscribers. That’s two billion dollars a month. A month!
Disney’s primary goal now is to hang on to all those subscribers, especially with upstarts like Apple and HBO Max flexing their muscles. Disney’s gunna spend $64 billion just to keep everyone happy. Unbelievable.
On top of all the series listed above, Big Movies are moving from theatrical to streaming. Disney already moved Hamilton and Mulan to Disney+. Aretmis Fowl and Pixar’s Soul are next. Live-action remakes of Cruella (101 Dalmations) and Pinocchio are expected to hit next year. Those were all slated for theaters. No more.
The money is in streaming. It cost about half as much to release a movie on streaming because there’s no promotion costs. And that monthly streaming money is a golden goose that pays off every single month.
Welcome to a whole new world.