Disney’s Bob Iger Shuns Early Home Movie Releases

Bob Iger
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Unlike its rival movie studios, Disney is not looking at an early premium video-on-demand window for theatricals, according to Chairman-CEO Bob Iger.

The executive made that point emphatically on Tuesday during a conference call with Wall Street analysts following the release of its earnings for the second quarter that ended on March 31. He said Disney’s upcoming slate is so strong with big tentpoles — with the “Star Wars,” Marvel, and Pixar franchises — that he does not see the need for an early window.

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“We’re not in advanced conversations for a premium VOD window,” Iger said. “We don’t really believe there is a need for us to move that product off of the big screen any faster than we already are. The movies we make are perfect for consumption on the big screen. We’ve also created global phenomenon with our films. People seem to want to go seem them en masse.”

Other studios have been holding closed-door talks about offering high-profile films on-demand as $30 to $50 rentals within a month or so of their debuts, as a chance to capture audiences between the ages of 25 and 39. But no one went public with the notion during the CinemaCon gathering in late March in Las Vegas.

Iger said Tuesday said that he would be “open-minded” about a shorter premium VOD window. “What we’ve got going is working. We have no reason to disrupt that right now. We are making movies that people want to see in the large screen venues that are being built worldwide,” he added.

Disney has been dominating the movie business since last year, when it took in 57% of worldwide profits from the business, according to estimates by Cowen and Co. The studio racked up nearly $3 billion in domestic receipts from blockbusters such as “Finding Dory,” “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” and “Captain America: Civil War.”

Disney’s two 2017 releases have performed impressively. “Beauty and the Beast” has surpassed $1 billion worldwide, and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” opened to a massive $145 million at the domestic box office last weekend.

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