Bob Iger Says He Watches Each Disney Movie 3 to 5 Times During Production

The Disney CEO is re-focusing on creative efforts.

Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger.
Bob Iger discusses Disney’s film slate at Morgan Stanley TMT. Getty Images

After more than a year of focusing on restructuring and the business side of things, The Walt Disney Company (DIS) CEO Bob Iger is spending more time and energy on content production these days. During an interview at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecommunications conference yesterday (Mar. 5), Iger spoke extensively about the media giant’s creative efforts, which took a backseat when he returned to the CEO role in 2022. 

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The company had been restructured and creativity wasn’t really put at the center and needed to be,” Iger said in an interview with Ben Swinburne, Morgan Stanley’s head of U.S. media research at yesterday’s event. “But more importantly, there wasn’t enough accountability, particularly in the creative side.” 

Iger is particularly focused on Disney’s film slate these days. He said he watches each Disney movie three to five times with the production teams during the making process. “Not only do you look at the films you’re making, you look at every part of that process: who are the directors, who’s being cast, reading scripts,” Iger said. Disney is set to release a few follow-ups to major hits this year, including sequels to Moana, Inside Out and Deadpool and Wolverine

In Iger’s view, creative executives at Disney were not being “held accountable” for the monetization of their work and “that was a big issue.” One solution he seems to be implementing is shelving some of Disney’s less profitable content. He said the company has “killed a few projects already.”   

“You have to kill things you no longer believe in,” Iger said. “That’s not easy in this business because either you’ve gotten started, you have some sunk costs or it’s a relationship with either your employees or with the creative community.”  

Shutting down projects or making “tough calls” is one of the three ways Iger said Disney is working to improve its film offering. Those calls can be controversial, as Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav may have learned from cutting nearly completed studio projects when he took the helm in 2021. The second is striving for perfection, and the third is focusing on the films that the company feels secure in, like the Marvel franchise. 

“Marvel’s released 33 films,” Iger said. “The total box off of those films is, I think, $50 million under $30 billion. So, just about $30 billion in box office for 33 films. That is not an accident.”

Bob Iger Says He Watches Each Disney Movie 3 to 5 Times During Production