Disney Headlines for September 25th, 2021
Disney just announced another Disney+ Day.
Meanwhile, company boss Bob Chapek discussed the changing nature of contracts, and a Black Widow cast member chimed in. No, not that one.
Also, astronauts are all about a new Disney restaurant, some abandoned castles will remind you of Disney, and Disney Channel gets a new boss.
We have much to discuss in this week’s Disney Headlines.
Disney+ Day Returns
On November 12th, 2019, Disney+ premiered in North America and some other markets.
Since then, 116 million people have signed up for the service. Ever the salesman, CEO Bob Chapek has turned November 12th into a day of celebration.
From now on, Disney+ Day will occur on November 12th. On these birthdays, Disney will announce new content while adding exclusives to the service.
So, you’ll get to watch new stuff on November 12th. Simultaneously, Disney will tell you about other programming that will arrive on the service later.
As such, we can expect blockbuster titles every year on November 12th.
To wit, Chapek announced two movies that will debut on Disney+ on November 12th.
Folks, we’re talking about two of the most successful films of 2021. The lesser blockbuster is Jungle Cruise, which currently ranks fifth in box office for the year.
You can watch that for free on November 12th. Unless you watch a double bill, I suspect you’ll pick something else, though.
On that same date, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will debut on Disney+. Yes, you can watch it free with your subscription that day.
By the time you read this, Shang-Chi will have passed Black Widow to become the number one North American movie of 2021.
So, on November 12th, three of the top five films this year will be available as part of the basic Disney+ service.
The number six movie, Free Guy, may join them, although Disney hasn’t announced that yet.
Disney+ subscriptions are a great deal, my friends.
The ScarJo Effect
By now, you know the cautionary tale of Black Widow all too well.
Disney and Scarlett Johansson argued behind the scenes over the movie’s release strategy.
Johansson wasn’t opposed to a Premier Access release due to the pandemic. However, she expected/demanded compensation as a make-good.
Kevin Feige, the head of Marvel, privately campaigned for this payment. But, unfortunately, Disney executives…went a different way.
Chapek and his team burned bridges, scorched earth, and salted the ground so that nothing could grow again.
That doesn’t mean Chapek learned nothing from the experience, though. For example, during a recent Q & A session, Chapek referenced the changing nature of financials.
Describing the situation as a “reset,” Chapek made the following comments:
“We are just figuring out our way to bridge the gap. But ultimately, we believe that our talent is our most important asset.
And, as we always have, we will compensate them fairly per the terms of the contracts that they agreed to.”
That’s the CEO’s way of acknowledging that the deals of just three or four years ago no longer make sense in the current marketplace.
So, Disney is renegotiating with all the filmmaking talent to set up terms satisfactory to both parties.
Chapek understands that his company cannot afford another black eye like the one it suffered due to the very public fight with Johansson.
Still, the best comment about the situation came from Johansson’s Black Widow co-star, O-T Fagbenle. Here’s what he said.
"All workers should get paid fairly." Scarlett Johansson's "Black Widow" co-star O-T Fagbenle weighs in on the legal fight over her compensation for the Marvel film. pic.twitter.com/4utaobI26m
— AP Entertainment (@APEntertainment) September 22, 2021
He’s absolutely right. Nobody should get upset when very wealthy people argue over millions of dollars.
We should focus more on the needs of the rest of the production crew.
Miscellaneous Disney Headlines
We have a lot of fun stuff to discuss this week. For starters, here’s the CollectSpace team discussing all the NASA/space references at Space 220.
Next, we take a look at Turkey’s Burj al Babas resort, a planned community of Disney-style castles. Unfortunately, it’s abandoned now, which makes the whole place seem creepy and otherworldly.
Here’s a TikTok video an influencer made during a visit:
The other story that has captivated me for months now comes from Polygon. This site has published a series of discussions about failed animated movies.
How they determine failure is…debatable, as many of these projects turned a healthy profit, and some were quite lucrative.
The purpose of these discussions is more to champion some of the less-heralded animated films from the past 25 years.
Disney fans will want to read the complete list for entries like The Emperor’s New Groove.
You can read the whole thing here. Polygon discusses nine features, four of which are Disney projects.
The ridiculous outlier here is Lilo & Stitch, which the author admits was a huge triumph for Disney.
I suspect Polygon just wanted to celebrate the franchise, a decision I can respect.
More Disney Headlines
Following up on a previous story, The Motley Fool discusses how Disney has given McDonald’s a boost.
I…already own three of these toys. We snagged Donald Duck, Dory, and Frozone.
Speaking of Motley Fool, a writer there also talks about the new normal at Disney theme parks. The focus is on impending park changes.
In Disney executive news, legendary Disney Channel boss, Gary Marsh, has stepped down to work in production.
If you love Phineas and Ferb, Hannah Montana, Descendants, or High School Musical, this dude contributed mightily to your life.
Disney has promoted Ayo Davis as his de facto replacement. She’s a rock star in her own right. So, Disney’s in good hands.
The other fun thing I found this week is this list of ten films where the sidekick proved smarter than the Disney villain.
Finally, here’s something that I guarantee will put a smile on your face.