Disney Executive Allegedly Blames Fans and Sexism For Box Office Failures

Published: February 22, 2024

Recently Disney has been seeing many films barely break even or fail at the box office. A lot of their shows based on Marvel and Star Wars are also facing declining returns on Disney+.

Why is this happening?

Could it be that people are tired of superheroes and “Star Wars?” Which is why films like “Barbie” and “Super Mario Bros.” did so well.

Could it be the declining quality of entertainment where everything feels decided by a committee and/or isn’t very good?

Could it be that Disney trained their audience to wait till films are released on Disney+?

Could it be that people see a race or gender swap and immediately fear the film will be more of a lecture than a good time?

According to Matt Belloni of Puck News, at least one unnamed Disney executive thinks it’s because audiences hate female empowerment and are too politicized. 

Belloni said that an executive basically said that audiences see messaging in film as a “quality issue.” 

Everyone says, ‘It’s the movies, stupid,’ which is an easy thing for people to say. More appealing movies are a great way to jump the political issues. But more and more, our audience (or the segment of the audience that has been politicized) equate the perceived messaging in a film as a quality issue.”

When a message over a story or good characterization happens, people will definitely equate the message with quality. 

Also, if it was only a “segment of the audience,” that is the problem, why are their films losing so much money and are not even breaking even. It would imply that the majority chose not to see their film, not just a “segment of the audience.”

They continue:

“They won’t say they find female empowerment distasteful in The Marvels or Star Wars [the latest trilogy starring Daisy Ridley], but they will say they don’t like those movies because they are ‘bad.’ So ‘make better movies’ becomes code for ‘make movies that conform to regressive gender stereotypes or put men front and center in the narrative.

Again, if people don’t like their films of late, it’s because they are against “female empowerment.” But I’m a woman. I didn’t like the Disney “Star Wars” trilogy. I am a lifelong “Star Wars” fan, and yes, I have a uterus. Am I now against “female empowerment” and want “regressive gender stereotypes” because I like Luke Skywalker, and I thought they did him dirty?

What about all the other not white, or not straight, or not male fans who didn’t go to see Disney’s recent films? Are they “regressive,” too?

Given the number of people not going to the films, it can’t solely be because of things like misogyny.

I think a real argument can be made for fans feeling a decline in the quality of Disney films in recent years. They are choosing other movies to spend their money on. I also believe the economy is at play, making it harder for families to afford the films.

Disney’s choices during the pandemic with films on Disney+ and the shortened time from theater to streaming are very likely playing into box office returns as well. Google Trends frequently show a lot of searches about when a recent film will arrive on Disney+.

While I’m sure some people are bigots, and they do behave in the way this executive mentioned, the majority of people are not like this, and maybe the issue is with Disney. 

Of course, the comment is reportedly from a Disney executive, so it’s possibly not true. If it is true, perhaps Disney needs more introspection than their audience.

Source: Fandom Wire

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