Disney's re-hired former CEO Bob Iger is hearing the complaints of the company's fan base and investors, and it would seem that he is attempting to take action to respond to them.
The ire of Disney's fan base and investors was most likely heard loud and clear when Disney's stock dropped 44 percent last year. This prompted the firing of CEO Bob Chapek and brought Bob Iger out of retirement to fix the mess, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Iger had originally retired in 2021, and admitted the company had been putting profits before their fan base in recent years. He said Disney is taking steps to change that, according to the Daily Mail.
"I've always believed that Disney was a brand that needs to be accessible. And I think that in our zeal to grow profits, we may have been a little too aggressive about some of our pricing," he said during a question-and-answer session at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom conference on Thursday.
"And I think there is a way to continue to grow our business but be smarter about how we price so that we maintain that brand value of accessibility," he added.
One of the most notable areas that took a price hike was admission tickets to the park. That went from $124 in 2017 to $244 for a one day visit.
A couple of other notable areas, which are in the process of getting price restructuring, include overnight parking for hotel guests, and the number of days Disneyland offers its basic $104 adult admission price.
There will also be a move to reduce over-crowding, which will involve regulating the number of people that can gain entry to the park during peak season.
"It's tempting to let more and more people in, but if the guest satisfaction levels are going down because of crowding, then that doesn't work," Iger said.
Another move that Disney is making to try to boost its profitability and cut costs includes cutting 7,000 jobs. That plus revamping its streaming business and restructuring the company into three segments is anticipated to cut costs by about $5.5 billion, according to Reuters.
The three segments include an entertainment division focused on film, television and streaming; a sports division that focuses on ESPN; and a division focused on Disney parks, experiences and products.
"This reorganization will result in a more cost-effective, coordinated approach to our operations. We are committed to running efficiently, especially in a challenging environment," Iger said.
A couple of Disney's films took a rather nasty hit at the box office last year. In order for a film to break even on what is invested into it, the film must at least double its production budget since those profits are split approximately evenly between theaters and production studios, according to Daily Citizen.
The film "Lightyear," which featured homosexual characters and subplots, grossed $226 million in movie theaters. The film had a budget of about $200 million. That being said, Disney took a significant loss from that film, according to Daily Citizen.
Another film flop that Disney released last year was the movie, "Strange World." The homosexuality of the main character was the plot around which the story revolved. The studio spent around $165M to produce the film, excluding advertising costs, but it only earned $73M at the box office. So Disney lost over $100M on this film, too, according to Daily Citizen.
It's often said that those who enjoy the movie theater experience vote on the entertainment industry's films with their feet and their dollars. That being said, it appears that social activism in entertainment is not preferred by most movie attendees.
"Do I like the company being embroiled in controversy? Of course not,” Iger said. “It can be distracting. It can have a negative impact on the company. And to the extent that I can work to quiet things down, I’m going to do that," Iger said, according to Daily Citizen.