Despite Disney+ Success, Bob Iger Still Wants Movie Theaters Around

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disney ceo bob chapek (left) and executive chairman bob iger (right)

Credit: Disney

Former Disney CEO and outgoing Walt Disney Company Executive Chair Bob Iger has been instrumental in the success of the company for years.

Over the course of his 15-year tenure, Iger was responsible for many impressive feats, including the acquisitions of media giants like Lucasfilm/Star WarsMarvel Studios, and Pixar Animation Studios.

bob iger (left) with tom holland (right) at onward premiere
Credit: ABC

One of the most recent successes of the Walt Disney Company with Iger as the spearhead has been the integration of Disney+. The popular streaming service now has more than 118 million subscribers and continues to add new content each month.

Disney+ originals have included many televisions series, as well as movies that have gone straight to the streaming service. Recent releases on Disney+ include Foodtastic, Hawkeye, Under the Helmet: The Legacy of Bobo Fett, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Beatles: Get Back, Welcome to Earth, Intertwined, The Making of Happier Than Ever: A Love Letter To Los Angeles, The World According to Jeff Goldblum: Season 2, Home Sweet Home Alone, Ciao Alberto, Olaf Presents, and Muppets Haunted Mansion, just to name a few.

Bob Iger
Credit: Financial Times

Disney made the decision earlier this fall to have its remaining films for 2021 debut exclusively in theaters before making them available to stream on Disney+. These films included The Last Duel, Ron’s Gone Wrong, Eternals, West Side Story, and The King’s Man. Earlier in the year, Disney+ subscribers were able to pay an extra fee to stream films that were released via Premier Access.

Though much of the industry seems to be moving towards stream, Iger said in an interview with CNBC that there is still value in the “big screen experience.”

“Migrating completely away from the big screen experience would not be something I would necessarily advise. But you know, that won’t be my decision,” Iger said. “The world going out to a movie, experiencing larger-than-life characters on that big screen, with other people. I think there’s something very, very powerful about that that probably has an impact, that does have an impact, not probably, on how that resonates.”

Bob Iger Star Wars
Credit: Deadline

Disney saw the success that a theatrical release can have by example of Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021). The movie recently became the first film since 2019 to cross $1 billion worldwide.

It will be interesting to see how Disney continues to balance its streaming service with theatrical releases and what that might mean for the future of theaters across the world.

How many Disney movies did you see in theaters during 2021? 

Want to see Star-Lord/Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) some more? What about Loki? Spider-Man: Freshman Year will soon be coming to Disney+ (among other announcements such as  X-Men ’97, What If…? Season 2, Echo, She-Hulk, and Agatha: House of Harkness); click here to watch today! 

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