T Nation

The Beast that is Disney

#1

Folks; “Avengers”: Endgame broke all records by having an opening box-office in the BILLIONS (with a “B”).

“The Mouse” is a beast, and getting stronger.

The Disney Catalog; Studios; Parks; Movie Studios; ESPN; Production Companies; Streaming Services; rights to various franchises (e.g. Star Wars)…the list is endless (google “Companies Owed By Disney”).

Hey…to me they strive for quality in all they do…but man are they cornering the Entertainment Market and raking in the dough.

(One interesting side note; they purchased “Fox”…but NOT the News Division? What to you guys think, since you may know me as a Political “junkie”!)

Thoughts?

Is “The Mouse” getting TOO big?

#2

I don’t find it surprising that they didn’t take the news division. A combination of lack of desire, from either party, and Disney not wanting to do news probably made them want to sever these businesses.

The fox purchase was huge from an IP perspective; the Simpsons, Futurama, King of the Hill, all just off the top of my head.

No signs of overreach yet, but who knows?

#3

Agree, @Legalsteel

They also seem smart enough to somehow not trigger the Government’s Anti-Trust/Monopoly “button”.

Not sure how they do it…but I am pretty sure that they know exactly how far they push things with a Legion of lawyers analyzing each and every purchase.

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#4

TB would probably give a better answer as to why, but the presence of large opponents and the wooly nature of IP monopoly may be saving their bacon.

@thunderbolt23 thoughts?

#5

I wish they’d burn to the ground.

Marvel franchise is the biggest corporate drivel to have ever been created. It blows Star Wars commercialism out of the water.

They make these things on an assembly line, with a perfectly calculated spreadsheet. They’re terrible movies, all the same, with no real suspense or genuine emotion.

I can understand kids of under 14 enjoying it but I don’t see how young adults, or even adults themselves (without kids) can enjoy this shlock.

Even the actors don’t seem to actually act in them anymore outside of maybe Captain America, man he always tries his best lol, but you can see he’s tired as well.

#6

I’m dreadfully weary of the format as well. It’s also clearly the case that Hollywood is not in good shape when annualized franchise movies are its primary source of income.

#7

Just think of what is going to happen when these kids that only know movies from marvel grow up, what are their tastes going to be like?

We are now getting “critics” out there that cut their teeth with superhero movies. Not Citizen Kane, not Raging Bull, hell not even The Godfather but with the Spider-Man trilogy.

People have been predicting the death of cinema for a while, I never believed it, but I think we may be getting there.

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#8

The best stuff is on TV and streaming services now. It’s a bizarre state of affairs.

#9

Regarding Marvel, I’m an “outsider” to this comic book stuff since I’ve never read a single comic in my life. But I am quite a big movie buff. I watched Iron Man because of Robert Downey Jr, who was great in Chaplin. It wasn’t bad. I watched Thor because it was directed by Kenneth Branagh, the guy that used to do gayass stuff like Shakespeare and the Frankenstein remake with Robert De Niro. I didn’t like it. The Iron Man sequel had the guy from The Wrestler so I watched it, though without much enthusiasm. The MMA fight scene with Black Widow was pretty good.

Then I watched The Winter Soldier and I was blown away. I hadn’t even watched the first Captain America movie at that time. The Russo Brothers had taken the best of HK action flicks that I love so much, upgraded them and made a Hollywood blockbuster. Then they let James Gunn, the guy that used to make B grade schlock like Slither and Super and wrote the screenplay for the Dawn of the Dead remake make Guardians of the Galaxy. I became a big fan. Civil War by The Russo Brothers had mindboggling fight choreography and action direction. Doctor Strange was made by the guy that made The Exorcism of Emily Rose, a pretty underrated flick, and starred that British thespian from The Imitation Game and Sherlock whose name I can’t spell. Thor: Ragnarok was made by some unknown indie movie director from New Zealand and had one of the most stupendous action sequences in cinema that I’ve ever seen set to The fucking Immigrant Song. Infinity War was a perfect movie by The Russo Brothers. It should have swept the oscars.

Then they had to make that piece of shit that was Captain Marvel. Even the directors of Half Nelson couldn’t uplift that horrific pile of PC nonsense.

The thing about Marvel, and why I give them so much respect is they have had the balls to take chances and understand the need for real talent. They didn’t cast non-actors like Dolph Lundgren like previous movies did just because he was popular at the time, nor did they get shitty commercial directors for their movies. Even Black Panther, a movie that I think was ridiculously overrated, was made by the guy that made Creed.

I am, however, not very confident of the direction they are going with Captain Marvel and what the conclusion of Endgame seems to be leading to. I’m probably done with Marvel for the moment. If they’re going with the PC shit and it goes into their choice of cast and filmmakers, I’m out.

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#10

I hear you, @greenboy.

As @Legalsteel alluded to…story driven/content driven work is moving to streaming/TV…and Hollywood fully admits that.

Movies (as in at the Theater) are escapist/cash-flow generating “events” that people even plan for like a weekend trip or a favorite convention, especially over the Summer. (We are now officially in “Summer” season, movie wise).

This past weekend was a Prime Example. The buzz around the Office was who was going to “Endgame”…on what day…and were they going to try and hit the Premiere.

#11

(Great stuff, @dt79. Thanks.)

This hits on a point I make with my original post.

For the most part…“The Mouse” will attempt to put out quality product (whether one likes the actual content or not). In other words…“Disney” will spend money in order to make money.

Very seldom will you see a Disney product lose money. I think the chance of them going though the “drought” of the 70’s and 80’s pre-Eisner are gone. They are now a money making machine of the Highest Order.

(As a side note…they are not very tolerant of a Division losing money and/or not meeting projections…as evidenced by the wholesale shake-up of ESPN in 2017-18)…

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#12

The mouse got too Big when they successfully lobbied to have copyright laws changed in a way that would have prevented Walt from ever building his empire if those laws were around in his day.

#13

Can you explain this a little more, @strongmangoals ?

They do seem to be VERY calculated in what they do from a business standpoint.

#14

True. We did see the audience actually react to a poor product, though. The Last Jedi was awful. A 1.3 billion gross is pretty good for a normal movie, but it’s underwhelming for a Star Wars sequel given the strength of the IP and the amount of marketing they put into it. For comparison, the previous sequel made 2.1 billion. The real effects of The Last Jedi were seen with the follow up that was the Han Solo movie, which wasn’t even a bad movie. IIRC it barely broke even at the box office, which means it flopped badly when factoring in marketing costs and splitting profits with cinemas. That is quite unbelievable for a movie about that character.

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#15

The last movie I went to was Smallfoot, and it’s most likely the last movie I’ll ever go see. It was the most sjw’d out piece of shit I’ve ever seen, parading as a kids movie no less. Actually quite fucked up in my opinion.

Between streaming services, control over content, and the comforts of home, the theater industry can go take a flying leap for all I care.

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#16

But I see that as strange, even concerning, the idea that adults in an office are excited to see a kids movie like that. It is warped.

I feel like marketing is too powerful.

@SkyzykS

how so? what was it about?

#17

Antitrust is all but a dead letter in the US, so unless there is a seismic shift in approach, they won’t get any antitrust scrutiny.

Trump made some news about going after the AT&T/Time Warner (CNN) merger on antitrust grounds, but it wasn’t because he had some principled commitment to antitrust - he simply wanted to weaponize a law to seek revenge on an enemy (CNN).

In addition to antitrust being generally dormant, Disney’s inroads into politicians will ensure their protection. Disney spent almost $4 million on lobbyists in 2018.

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#18

On the surface it was an animated movie about a guy that finds a culture of yeti in the Himalaya mountains. The way it unfolded was that religion is bad, social religious leaders are trying to control you, diversity (social outcasts, subversives, minorities etc.) are good, people are bad and will hurt you, they attack things that are different, etc. Not even subtle either. In fact it was very explicit.

Not something me and the wife were expecting or would have attended-especially with a five year old- from what was being marketed as a kids movie.

#19

Why does this not surprise me even a little bit?

#20

Far from it. (IMO)
It’s the kid in us, that hopefully we never completely lose, @greenboy

I still like watching the old cartoons of my youth…and don’t even get me started on where it takes me at Christmas time to see the likes of “Rudolf”, “The Grinch” and some of the old Classics.

Escape-ism…taking us away…if only for 1-2 hours…from the realities of Life…

With some exceptions…this is where Disney has taken us from it’s very inception.

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