The Behemoth That Is Disney

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I haven’t written anything in English for a while (because I write in English for work and I’ve had loads) but this topic lends itself perfectly so….

Let’s rehash the basics: Disney is the owner of Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm.

Marvel has been a force to be reckoned with, with each movie bringing in huge crowds, critical acclaim, praise from fans and the merchandise has just been flying out of the store.

Marvel’s success is something unique in cinematic history.

Take a look.

marvel-madness

Yea, that’s close to 17 billion, with a B. This weekend will see the release of Ant Man and the Wasp and if it does moderately well, this will put the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) over the 17 billion mark.

Those numbers are intimidating.

Two of their movies did amazingly well this year. Black Panther became a runaway hit and Infinity War was crazy successful. The movies earned 1.3 billion and 2 billion respectively. That’s a cool 3,5 billion on 2 movies in a single year. In fact: it wasn’t even a single year. The movies were released a few months after each other, so it’s more like 3.5 billion in half a year. There has never been anything like it. No brand, no movie series, has ever been this popular and/or successful. It seems they simply can do no wrong and every single movie they produce and release will be a massive success.

I’m curious to see how Ant Man and the Wasp does. It if exceeds expectations, it’ll be the best year any movie studio has ever had.

Next year promises more of the same. Three new films will be released: Captain Marvel (the first female superhero movie from Marvel), Spider Man 2 and of course the sequel for Infinity War (which is now an untitled Avengers 4 project). Considering the insane success of the first Infinity War, the expectations will be high and my guess is numbers like 2018 will be difficult to beat or even match.

Marvel is the hottest property in the film industry.

I liked Black Panther, I didn’t think it was particularly awesome, just “liked” it. I liked Thor: Ragnarok more, although it did go a bit overboard on all the CGI. I haven’t seen a really good copy yet of Infinity War, but it’s coming out to web streaming and DVD soon (and there are rumours this will be an extended release). What I’ve seen looked very impressive. It’s a huge movie. And everybody I know who’s seen it, just loved it.

Marvel really impressed the fans this year.

Lucasfilm on the other hand...

soylo

It’s just been God awful. I let myself get sucked into reading other fans’ reactions to the movies so far. So I liked The Force Awakens, I even saw it in the cinema, and I felt that magic and it was a fun movie, sort of a remake of the original Star Wars, with very similar plot and recognizable stuff. A movie made for the fans, kinda. As I saw it later, on BluRay, at home in HD… I kinda felt meh and didn’t like it that much at all. Then in December 2017 The Last Jedi came out and… well it kinda ended Star Wars. It was just so horribly bad, it was hard to believe that anybody in their right mind would have okayed this piece of crap. So end of last year I was quite down and disappointed. Then the drama over Solo, A Star Wars Story began and as snippets of the reports came in… the drama on set, the directors being fired, massive reshoots? I began to wonder: Who is running that company, who is responsible for this mess? But still… I stayed away from other fans’ opinions on the matter. Solo has since bombed, it’s the first Star Wars movie that lost money. It broke my heart. How can anybody possibly fuck up a brand as strong as Star Wars?

And that’s when I began to read more about it.

And I got sucked in.

So here’s my take on… well on stuff.

Disney/Lucasfilm is a mess. The people running the show are clowns. They acquired the best brand in the world – Star Wars – for some 4 billion. And then fucked it all up.

They announced a new trilogy, parts 7-8-9… but they had no trilogy. They didn’t have a single movie, not half of a script, not even an idea or concept for any movie. They were ages away from anything even resembling “a new trilogy”. So they rushed, wrote a bad script, with 2-dimensional, quite boring characters that we simply don’t care that much about. They stuffed it with odd plot-lines and lazy writing and loads of dumb easter-eggs and references and began making and releasing movies…. without any long-term strategy or plan whatsoever. I am not making this up. Disney/Lucasfilm and the people involved have admitted as much. No, we didn’t really have any plan, we just let 1 guy make a movie and then we let another guy make a movie. Rian Johnson, the director of The Last Jedi, was apparently able to do whatever the fuck he wanted. He could have made Luke Skywalker sexually assault Rey and it would have been fine. He was given free reign to write and direct part 8 in a fucking NINE part series, without giving any fuck whatsoever about continuity, the characters, or future plot-lines and movies.

Fans – who had been quite patient – even swallowing (and stomaching) the prequels a decade before – finally said: enough is enough. This is fucking madness, these are just bad fucking movies. And to make it worse… they are very very very bad Star Wars movies. The main villain is a whiny emo child. The main heroine is a Mary Sue. It’s just impossible to really care about these characters. Bad storytelling, odd plot-lines, boring and nonsensical characters. To top it all off: Rian Johnson killed off Luke Skywalker (after bashing the character to a pulp in The Last Jedi) so episode 9 is doomed. After the train-wreck – complete with hazardous chemical waste spill – that the Last Jedi left… I don’t see any way this can be salvaged in Episode IX.

While all this gloom was going on, various fans took to social media to express their displeasure and that’s when things just spiralled out of control.

Disney/Lucasfilm and various of the films’ creators reflexively called the fans: racists, bigots, manbabies, white supermacists, people who hate diversity, sexists, people who are afraid of strong women, misogynists, haters and various combinations of these. It was just nuts. I’ve never seen – and I do mean never – a company piss off its own customers in such an incredibly stupid manner. These are your fucking customers. You want them to come and watch your movies and like them and buy t-shirts and shit. Calling them “racists” has to be THE dumbest public relations campaign in the history of the world!

It’s the backlash to all of this that has made Solo bomb at the box office and has caused irreparable damage to the Star Wars brand and Lucasfilm.

It’s sad to see a franchise take a nosedive like that.

And it shows Disney to be somewhat of a whacky organization. On the one hand they have the MCU which can do no wrong. Each movie well received and thoroughly enjoyed by millions of fans the world over. And then they have Lucasfilm, which seems to be run by a team of monkeys.

70 billion?

At present Disney is in a race, with Comcast, trying to acquire 20th Century Fox. The numbers vary somewhat but Disney will spend some 65-70 billion to acquire Fox. This means Disney would then also own the X-Men (another superhero franchise) and they will own Avatar and all its sequels. In short: It will make Disney the largest, most powerful media company in the world. Disney will furthermore launch its own streaming platform to compete with Netflix, presumably making sure their content (Lucasfilm, Marvel, etc) will air on their own channels cheaper, better, sooner, etc. At present Disney cannot quite “catch” Netflix. In fact, Netflix is doing amazing and spending amounts on content that are astronomical.

If Disney acquires 20th Century Fox and manages to beat Netflix?

Our media landscape is gonna be really… diverse, yes?

 

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