Disney is reorganizing and Marvel is taking over our living rooms

This post comes from the daily newsletter of the Culture department of Release, sent free of charge every evening.

Among the objectively positive side effects of the epidemic that have yet to be underlined by mental health authorities, it is necessary to include the interruption of the releases of Marvel films in what was nevertheless fast becoming the chronology of a pop culture completely metastasized, and a gaping plague of cinema. The surge of superheroes, orchestrated by the Disney firm following the takeover of Marvel Entertainment for $ 4 billion (or 3.4 billion euros) at the end of summer 2009, normally attacked its phase IV after already the three previous phases broken down into 23 feature films (the Avengers, Black Panther, Iron Man, etc.) and profiled to accomplish an incredible raid on the global box office with 22.5 billion in global revenues.

Latex Shapely Superhero Squads

But the epidemic has forced the parent company to revise its bomb carpet strategy and to allow a world to develop where for a year our atmosphere, admittedly not particularly funny, is no longer crossed in all directions by squads of super – heroes curved in latex and united in an implacable colonization of a mass imagination piloted with mastery from Burbank in Los Angeles. The next Marvel to date, Black Widow, is now set for a hypothetical theatrical release in May 2021, followed in July by Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings.

Read alsoDisney + makes its D-Day on a besieged Europe

The announcement yesterday of a profound reorganization of Disney to face the challenges of the future is a sign that the mega-major, weakened by the closure of multiplexes and its theme parks, is also dragging itself a debt of $ 41 billion following the Fox buyout in March 2019, cannot remain passive in the turmoil. New CEO Bob Chapek has redesigned an organizational chart that clearly distinguishes between creatives and cast who no longer need to tune their old-fashioned violin to an outdated pattern. “Our creative teams will focus on what they do best – crafting world-class content based on licenses in place – while our new centralized global distribution team will focus on delivering and monetizing that content. in the most optimal way possible …»He explains in a press release.

Pajama party and burger delivery

Understand that it is urgent to take advantage of the already considered late launch of the Disney + platform (which was inaugurated in November 2019 in the United States before landing in Europe in March 2020) to recruit subscribers at full speed, and compete in this field Netflix, Warner and Amazon. One can wonder if the franchise model and “shared universes” does not become in this context an undue constraint with five-year plans for sequels and bridges between feature films devolved to the cinema and series for the site (eight are announced for phase IV just for Marvel, but we must add the Star Wars franchise declined on Disney + with The Mandolarian whose second season arrives at the end of October) turning into a generalized mess when the flow of production and distribution seizes up and the chain of force-feeding an audience that we had managed to make salivate with a continuous jet breaks up on a long period.

It is not certain that Disney, even in a peaceful sanitary environment, will succeed in winning the battle by securing related revenues in physical and digital, playing on the complementarity between films and series, forcing the most fanatical to pay their place and their subscription. The current shift therefore tends to favor the platform as a coherent and unique place of dissemination. Pajama parties and burger deliveries become the couch sky of Covid-era entertainment and beyond. The room has just taken on a new lease of life.


Didier Peron

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