Disney Kills Movies to Save Streaming Service

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Mickey freaks out at Disney+

Credit: Inside the Magic

Despite being a season of summer blockbusters, Disney can’t seem to catch a break with some of their latest features. With films like Strange World, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumaniaand Elemental as box office bombs, the studio will need some serious magic to pull itself out of the muck and mire. Could Disney+ save the day?

Ember and Wade with Clod off to the side in Elemental
Credit: Disney

While Disney might be miserable at the movie theaters, the same cannot be said for the company’s magical streaming service. Since it’s usually cheaper than paying upwards of $40 for the full big-screen experience, the streaming service is giving these so-called flops a bigger and broader audience, and it’s not by accident.

Disney Commits Cinematic Suicide for Disney+

Disney+ Logo
Credit: Disney+

Due to recent licensing and distribution disputes, Disney has maintained primary ownership of almost all of its movies and TV shows. The  streaming service has become the exclusive platform for everything under the mouse. However, recent developments might have just revealed a pattern with the studio’s current projects.

Related: Breaking the Cycle, Disney Takes Major Risk

Many sources point fingers at marketing, lack of originality, and other factors contributing to Disney’s recent decline. Still, it might be a form of intentional self-sabotage to garner more interest in its streaming service than actually seeing movies in the theaters.

One recent report states,

“Disney’s strategy of retaining exclusive rights to its content after theatrical release rather than pursuing lucrative licensing agreements with major streaming services like Netflix has likely contributed to this financial setback.

M.O.D.O.K (Corey Stoll) in 'Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania' (2023)
Credit: Marvel Studios

As a result, there has been an influx of interest in Disney’s box office bombs that are proven to be more profitable than their theatrical releases. However, this is a pattern we’ve seen before.

Related: Pixar Made ‘Elemental’ 10 Times, Hoping It Wouldn’t Flop

Although Quantumania was a tremendous loss for Disney in Marvel, it was the second most popular movie on the platform this month alone. Even the scandalous Strange World clocks in at ninth place for the most streamed Disney movie this year.

Mei Mei the Red Panda
Credit: Pixar

The same phenomenon occurred in 2022 with Pixar’s Turning Red and Lightyear. These two animated features were steeped in controversy and somehow made it into the top ten best-performing movies on the service. By now, this can’t be looked at as just a coincidence.

Related: Disney Animation Erases Walt’s Original Work

While Pixar has taken the hint and premiered most of its movies straight to streaming in the wake of COVID-19, Disney has continued to rely on theatrical releases for its latest projects. Although it’s doubtful that the studio will do anything drastic regarding film distribution, it might be safe to say that their recent box office numbers aren’t unplanned.

Do you think Disney is playing some sort of long con? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!


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