Disney And Pixar Will ‘Lean On Sequels’ In Near Future, Says CEO Bob Iger

Disney CEO Bob Iger said today during the company’s quarterly earnings call that its feature animation divisions will prioritize sequels over original films.

When asked by a financial analyst about how the studio intended to balance “leaning on established franchises versus investment in new IP,” Iger responded:

We’re going to balance sequels with originals, particularly in animation. We had gone through a period where our original films in animation, both Disney and Pixar, were dominating. We’re now swinging back a bit to lean on sequels. And so we’ve talked, as you know, about Toy Story and obviously Inside Out this summer. I just think that right now, given the competition in the overall movie marketplace that actually there’s a lot of value in the sequels obviously because they’re known and it takes less in terms of marketing.

Iger explained that the renewed attention on sequels is part of the company’s decision to “reduce output and focus more on quality.” He further added that “the IP that we’re mining, including all the sequels that we’re doing is second to none.”

Both Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios will release sequels in 2024: Moana 2 and Inside Out 2, respectively. In 2025, Disney will release a sequel to Zootopia, while Pixar currently has the original Elio slated for next year.

Prior to Moana 2, Walt Disney Animation Studios released four original titles in a row: Raya and the Last Dragon, Encanto, Strange World, and Wish. Its last sequel was Frozen II in 2019.

Similarly, five of Pixar’s last six films have been originals – Onward, Soul, Luca, Turning Red, Elemental – with the only title based on existing IP being the Toy Story spinoff Lightyear.

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