Disney CEO Bob Iger opened up during The New York Times DealBook Summit about his thoughts on the recent downturn in box office numbers for not only the lastest MCU film but for other Disney projects.
Notably, Iger addressed the underperformance of The Marvels—a sequel to 2019's Captain Marvel—at the box office, attributing its lackluster reception to production constraints during the pandemic and claiming a lack of "supervision" on set is the reason behind the box office slump.
Despite positive reviews, the movie's box office debut fell short, marking a franchise low with a domestic opening of $47 million. Iger expressed a need for recalibration, acknowledging the studio's historically high standards for box office performance.
You can hear what he said in the video below.
″‘The Marvels’ was shot during COVID. There wasn’t as much supervision on the set, so to speak, where we have executives [that are] really looking over what’s being done day after day after day.”
Iger also defended Disney's theatrical output and blamed the studio's box office bombs on standards he suggested were way too high:
“And I’m not sure another studio will ever achieve some of the numbers that we achieved. I mean, we got to the point where if a film didn’t do a billion dollars in global box office, we were disappointed."
"That’s an unbelievably high standard and I think we have to get more realistic.”
He also suggested Disney should be more selective about the sequels it makes:
“I don’t want to apologize for making sequels. Some of them have done extraordinarily well and they’ve been good films, too."
"I think you there has to be a reason to make them, you have to have a good story. And often the story doesn’t hold up to is not as strong as the original story. That can be a problem.”
Many weren't convinced by Iger's excuses.
Last month, news outlets reported that Disney cut a scene featuring a reference to a past romantic relationship between Captain Marvel and Valkyrie in The Marvels, prompting many LGBTQ+ fans to cry foul.
Dear White People star Tessa Thompson plays Valkyrie, a character whose appearance in the film alongside Brie Larson's Carol Danvers intrigued fans about a potential romantic connection.
Despite Valkyrie's status as the King of New Asgard, fan speculation suggested that her interaction with Carol might move beyond friendship. While the film doesn't outright confirm a romantic bond, their on-screen chemistry and scenes together hint at a close relationship, including Valkyrie kissing Carol on the cheek.
The excised scene supposedly had the two discussing that they "work better as friends," implying a past romantic involvement. The fact it was cut angered fans who criticized Disney for the removal and have called for the release of an extended version of the film.