Disney Removes $54 Million Movie Just 48 Days After Release
When Disney+ first launched in November of 2019, Disney’s streaming strategy was simple- pump the service with as much content as possible in order to gain subscribers.
At the dawn of the steaming era, subscriber count was king, and Disney, as well as other major streamers pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into new content. The studios knew that they would never recoup that money, but with Wall Street laser focused on subscriber count, the ends justified the means.
Content Was King
Upon their entry into streaming, Disney also quickly stopped licensing content out to other platforms. As Bob Iger described it at the time, the company was essentially selling “nuclear weapons”.
“I woke up one day and thought, we’re basically selling nuclear weapons technology to a Third World country,” he said, “and now they’re using it against us.”
Disney Shifts Strategy
In less than four years however, things have drastically changed. Disney and Wall Street are now focused on profitability over subscriber count, and the gold rush for new content has quickly dried up.
This year, at a May 10th earnings call, former Disney CFO Christine McCarthy publicly announced that as part of the company’s new streaming strategy, Disney was “in the process of reviewing the content on our DTC services to align with the strategic changes in our approach to content curation” and “will be removing certain content from our streaming platforms.”
Disney Removes ‘Crater’ After 48 Days
Perhaps the most stark example of just how much things have changed for Disney+, was the company’s removal of the film “Crater” after just 48 days on the platform.
Crater was a science-fiction adventure film directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez. The film starred McKenna Grace and Kid Cudi, and followed the adventures of four friends from a mining colony on the moon in the year 2257. With a $53.4 million budget, Disney put real resources behind the movie
Now less than two-months later the film is no longer on Disney+. In fact, there is currently no place that fans can watch Crater.
While Disney has not publicly stated why the film was removed, it is believed to be an attempt to cut costs related to licensing deals.
While Disney is obviously free to remove whatever content from their streaming service that they chose, this is a new era for fans. For the first time in decades, there is now a real possibility that your favorite film or show will simply not be available anywhere.
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