Disney CEO Bob Iger Defends Company Over Recent Box Office Misfires

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Disney CEO Bob Iger sat down at the New York Times DealBook Summit on Wednesday, where he addressed the company's recent box office woes while offering a possible pathway for the future.

His comments come just a week after Disney's latest animated feature, Wish, pulled in just $19.5 million in the domestic box office on its opening weekend, on a budget of nearly $200 million. The Marvels likewise underperformed when it opened earlier this month, failing to recoup its $274.8 million budget.

However, Iger pointed to Disney's many successes in the company's history. In fact, Disney claims 10 out of the top 20 all-time highest-grossing films, according to IMDB.

"I'm not sure another studio will ever achieve some of the numbers that we achieved," Iger explained, via Business Insider. "We got to the point where if a film didn't do a billion dollars in global box office, we were disappointed. That's an unbelievably high standard and I think we have to get more realistic."

Addressing some of the more recent box office misses, Iger seemed to point blame at his successor and predecessor, Bob Chapek, who he came out of retirement to replace in November 2022 less than a year after stepping down, at the request of Disney's board of directors.

"I was disappointed in what I was seeing, both during the transition period when I was still there, and while I was out," Iger added, noting that going forward, Disney would only green light sequels if there was a story worth telling.

Iger's latest comments seem to echo his remarks from back in July, when he said that the company would be pulling back on Marvel and Star Wars content, compared to what we've seen in recent years.

"You pull back not just to focus, but also as part of our cost containment initiative," he said at the time. "Spending less on what we make, and making less."