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Marvel Studios will slow down its breakneck release schedule

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If you’ve ever found yourself saying, “There is too much Marvel, I can’t keep up”, a change coming.

The Hollywood Reporter wrote Disney may be slowing down the breakneck speed at which Marvel has been releasing its movies and streaming shows.

A studio insider told THR, “There is going to be a level of rigour on Marvel and across the entire company. Numbers matter now, and costs are going to be outlined and enforced.”

The comments come after Disney chief executive Bob Iger said during the release of the company’s financial results that it needs to be “better at curating” franchise projects. Iger also said, “We want to quality on the screen, but we have to look at what they cost us”.

Disney announced at the same time it was targeting $US5.5 billion in cost-cutting, and would sack 7000 staff members across its three divisions of entertainment, sport and parks and merchandise.

Marvel chief executive Kevin Feige is of a similar mind when it comes to spacing out its cinema and streaming offerings, although his justification may be public different to Iger’s.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Feige said he wanted to make sure each title will get its moment. “We want Marvel Studios and MCU projects to really stand out and stand above. So, people will see that as we get further into phases five and six.

“The pace at which we’re putting out the Disney+ shows will change so they can each get a chance to shine.”

Feige confirmed this meant Marvel will release fewer streaming shows every year.

In mid-2022, Feige told fans at San Diego Comic-Con there would be six Disney+ shows in 2023 but THR sources say his is now scaled back with only Secret Invasion and Loki season two confirmed for this year.

Marvel titles are organised within collectives known as “phases”. In phase four, across 2021 and 2022, Marvel released eight streaming series and seven movies, as well as a couple of one-off streaming specials.

In phase three, which ran over four years from 2016 to 2019, Marvel released 11 movies.

Marvel Studios only started making MCU canon TV shows from 2021 with phase four. Prior Marvel TV shows were made under a now-defunct TV additions and are not necessarily considered part of the MCU’s narrative continuity.

Feige also said in the EW interview he was keen on making more streaming shows that work as episodic storytelling, meaning a week-to-week structure rather than being heavily reliant on a serialised arc. He said the upcoming Daredevil series, starring Charlie Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio, will be experimenting with that.

“I think there is something fun about leaning back and watching an episode that can be relatively self-contained,” Feige told EW.

Disney is adjusting its streaming strategy after three years of aggressive subscriber growth since it launched Disney+ in late-2019. The platform has 161 million subscribers but the streaming division (which also encompasses Hulu and ESPN) lost $US1.1 billion in the three months to December.

Iger said, “It’s obvious to us that we can’t get to profitability and turn this into a growth business without growing subs.” But he conceded that it had been too been “too aggressive” in marketing the business.

Iger returned to the top job in November after retiring earlier. He was recruited to replace Bob Chapek, and has been given a two-year contract to turn Disney around.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has grossed over $US28 billion at the global box office over 30 films. The 31st movie, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania was released this week.

Story Credit: news.com.au

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