Disney to Reduce Marvel Studios' Output of Movies and Streaming Shows

Disney CEO Bob Iger has shifted to a quality over quantity strategy.

The Marvel Midas touch has minimized in recent years. After early risks like Iron Man and Captain America: The First Avenger paid off, Marvel Studios cemented itself as a bonafide box office juggernaut. Nine figure opening weekends were the norm. Billion dollar worldwide grosses became the measuring stick. Net profits were high enough to finance multiple future films alone. There was such an obsession with the Marvel Cinematic Universe that audiences were going out in droves and turning even the most obscure characters on the page into cultural phenomenons. It wasn't until Marvel experimented with a new medium that this stretch of unfazed dominance began to show cracks.

Marvel Studios expanded to streaming shows in 2021. While the first couple of releases, like WandaVision and Loki, were smash hits, the sheer volume of what the MCU was dropping became overwhelming for the average fan. 2021 alone had four theatrical movies, four live-action streaming shows, and an episodic animated installment to boot. Nonetheless, the overall quality of 2021's releases came close to Marvel's gold standard. The same could not be said for 2022 and 2023, which dropped divisive projects like Thor: Love and Thunder and completely critically-panned installments like Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.

Marvel Studios Decreasing Annual Output


Less is more with Marvel Studios moving forward.

Speaking during Disney's earnings call, Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed that the House of Mouse is shifting its focus on quality over quantity, and that that strategy is "particularly true with Marvel."

"We're slowly going to decrease volume and go to probably about two TV series a year instead of what had become four and reduce our film output from maybe four a year to two, or a maximum of three," Iger said. "And we're working hard on what that path is."

As of this writing, Marvel Studios has just one theatrical release this year in the form of Deadpool & Wolverine. It is the first time that Marvel is sending one film to the box office in a calendar year since 2010 (Iron Man 2).

"[Marvel has] a couple of good films in '25 and then we're heading to more Avengers which we're extremely excited about," Iger added, alluding to blockbuster 2025 projects Captain America: Brave New World, Thunderbolts*, and The Fantastic Four. "Overall, I feel great about the slate. It's something, as you know, that I've committed to spending more and more time on. The team is one that I have tremendous confidence in and the IP that we're mining, including all the sequels that we're doing, is second to none."