Bob Iger, Disney’s former CEO, and outgoing chairman gave an interview to CNBC in which he reflected on his time at Disney and provided his outlook on the future of the company and the entertainment industry overall.
Iger disputed that notion that moviegoing is becoming a thing of the past, saying that “people like to go out to the theater, that’s not going away.” But coupled with Iger’s endorsement of the theatrical experience was a note of pessimism about its potential for growth. Iger noted that the relatively high price of movie tickets is butting up against the value provided by streaming services, which he sees as offering a “good deal” to consumers, including compelling original programs such as Disney+’s THE MANDALORIAN. Iger suggests that Disney shouldn’t migrate “entirely away” from its roots in theatrical releasing, because it holds the potential to spark a cultural phenomenon, citing the 2018 release of Marvel’s BLACK PANTHER as one such example. However, he does see a shorter theatrical release window as more appropriate, which itself undercuts some of the incentives for audiences to see a movie at their local cinema.