Even though Disney is planning a lot of original content for debut on their forthcoming Disney+ subscription streaming service launching late in 2019, one of their biggest franchises won’t be debuting any new movies there.
In a recent interview, Disney CEO Bob Iger said that even though they’re spending big bucks on new projects like The Mandalorian, the first live-action Star Wars series ever, the feature-length adventures from a galaxy far, far away are simply too big to premiere only in their streaming library.
Speaking with Barrons (via SyFy Wire), Bob Iger broke down the business of taking Star Wars movies to theaters first:
“Almost every movie the studio makes is a $100 million-plus movie, and we’re not looking to make movies at that level for the service. We’re looking to invest significantly in television series on a per-episode business, and we’re looking to make movies that are higher-budget, but nothing like that.”
When Iger mentions “movies that are higher budget,” he’s talking about projects like their live-action remake of Lady and the Tramp with Tessa Thompson and Justin Theroux providing their voices as the titular dogs who fall in love. That’s probably about as big as Disney will be willing to go with their feature-length projects heading straight to Disney+. And Star Wars won’t be one of those kind of movies. Iger continued:
“We wouldn’t make a Star Wars movie for this platform. When everybody goes out on the weekend and you have a movie that opens up to $200 million, there’s a buzz that creates that enhances value. We like that. And eventually the movies we’re making are going to [end up on] the service.”
This makes perfect sense from a business standpoint. Everything made for Disney+ will be accessible to subscribers, and multiple people will be watching while paying a price that is said to be lower than Netflix. And if even the more disappointing Star Wars theatrical releases like Solo: A Star Wars Story are going to pull in nearly $214 domestically, why throw all that money away by releasing them first on Disney+ instead?
As it stands, Disney+ will be launching late in 2019, and it will apparently be coming with five or six new movies mean to debut on the streaming service. We rounded up some of the projects in the works as of February of 2018, so surely some of those will arrive when the service launches. And since them, some Marvel Studios shows have been announced too. But as for when they’ll actually hit the streaming library, we’ll have to wait and see.
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