Why Recent Disney Movies Are Failing, According to Disney (Report)

By Gillian Blum Posted:
Disney logo, Captain Marvel, Asha from Wish, Indiana Jones

A new report from insider Matt Belloni reveals what factors Disney reportedly believes are contributing to a recent pattern of relative box-office failures.

Since the pandemic, many of Disney's cinematic endeavors (both stand-alone projects and major franchises like the MCU or Indiana Jones) have failed to see the overwhelming success the company had grown used to.

Though they have their fans, projects like Wish and Eternals were not as well-received as Disney may have hoped, which was reflected in their relatively poor box office performances.

However, Disney's cinematic blunders are not always due to the quality of a given project. When movies that did not triumph at the box office — like Elemental or The Marvels — hit streaming services, fan reception started veering far more toward the positive than those early numbers may have indicated.

[ Disney Exec Blames The Marvels Flop on Bigoted Audience Members ]

Disney Reportedly Blames Failures on Pandemic-Era Changes

Strange Worlds

In a recent "What I'm Hearing..." newsletter, entertainment insider Matt Belloni reported that Disney blames the streaming-focused mindset COVID-19 required of the company on its lesser-quality cinematic endeavors.

He explained that internally at Disney, the company's recent pattern of box-office failures is being attributed "to a dilution of focus and resources" for movies throughout the pandemic, with the seeming need "to seed Disney+ and Hulu with as much content as possible:"

"Iger has shown confidence in [Disney exec Alan] Bergman, despite the recent creative and business troubles at pretty much all the units he oversees—Marvel, Lucasfilm, Pixar, Disney Animation, and Disney Studios. Internally, people have chalked up the slide to a dilution of focus and resources during the Covid-era rush to seed Disney+ and Hulu with as much content as possible."

Belloni added that content "output ramped up far beyond what the company was built to deliver," while creatives were stuck "working mostly at home and away from creative collaborators" due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

According to Belloni, this came on top of "Disney [making] decisions without thinking them through." In the end, all these factors together hurt the content being produced:

"Everyone was going 100 miles per hour, the thinking goes, while also working mostly at home and away from creative collaborators, and the output ramped up far beyond what the company was built to deliver. Disney made decisions without thinking them through or testing ideas properly, and the content ultimately suffered."

He concluded that as the world has been heading back to a semblance of normalcy, those within Disney are seeing "a normal cadence and work environment" again, which "will lead to greater intentionality, and ultimately better movies:"

"But now, that thinking goes, Iger has returned, and the company is functioning with a normal cadence and work environment that will lead to greater intentionality, and ultimately better movies."

[ Disney Issues Statement on Elemental Streaming Viewership Following 'Flop' Reports ]

Are Things Looking Up For Disney?

If nothing else, fans at least know that Disney is reportedly recognizing the problem, rather than trying to justify it or brush it under the rug.

Still, it remains to be seen whether this acknowledgment will actually lead to an increase in quality for Disney's upcoming cinematic endeavors.

If the shift away from a "streaming-first" mentality does occur, nothing will better represent this than November's Moana 2. The sequel was, at one point, set to be a Disney+ series, but has since changed to a theatrical release.

However, the following year of Disney projects is primarily made up of sequels and adaptations. In fact, the only 2025 Disney movie to not be one is Pixar's Elio, hitting theaters on June 13, 2025.

This is not to say that sequels and adaptations are exempt from the quality-over-quantity scrutiny the company will get — in fact, they may be even more criticized because of their ties to already-successful franchises. However, they may not necessarily be indicative of the larger trends for wholly original content.

Disney's next release will be Inside Out 2, which hits theaters on June 14.

Read more about Disney's upcoming movies below:

Inside Out 2 Reveals Best Look at New Emotion, Embarrassment (Photo)

Toy Story 5 Gets Exciting Release Update from Disney

Frozen 3: Disney Announces Release Window for Sequel

- About The Author: Gillian Blum
Gillian Blum has been a writer at The Direct since 2022, reporting primarily from New York City. Though she covers news from across the entertainment industry, Gillian has a particular focus on Marvel and DC, including comics, movies, and television shows. She also commonly reports on Percy Jackson, Invincible, and other similar franchises.