Disney launched its much-anticipated streaming service Disney+ this week. It’s safe to say that despite some bugs, including various login problems, it went well – over 10 million users have already signed up.
Walt Disney Studios co-chairman and chief creative officer Alan Horn turned up at the Variety Business Managers Breakfast this week to chat about how things are going over at Disney, where Variety’s editor-in-chief, Claudia Eller, pursued a line of questioning on whether exclusive series developed for Disney+ might go on to become films. This is of particular interest, as the most recent Star Wars trilogy will wrap up in cinemas next month with J.J. Abrams’ The Rise of Skywalker, and Lucasfilm seems to now be putting ts focus and money on projects like Jon Favreau’s pricey TV show, The Mandalorian, which just got underway on the subscription service.
“The Mandalorian is already proving to be a big thing, so if that series proves to be so compelling that we reverse engineer it into a theatrical release, a two-hour film or whatever, O.K.,” Horn said, indicating that the studio would be open to working on a future movie.
Horn was also pressed on Disney’s escalating monopoly at the multiplex, which has become a more serious talking point after the company’s acquisition of Fox earlier this year, and is certainly hard to ignore when you’re looking at Disney’s box office presence and the decreasing amount of room for smaller movies to blossom.
“We do have an outsized share of the market for sure, that’s because people get up, go to the theater, pay their money, and watch our movies,” Horn said. “I think, for me, I can’t apologize for the collective market share we enjoy. I know we enjoy a huge segment of the market share available, but I don’t want to apologize for it. I think our films are very different from one another, but it’s fair to say, ‘Gee whizz, these guys and ladies enjoy a very hefty percentage of the box office.’ But that falls outside of my job description, my job is to shepherd the making of these movies as best I can.”
Season 2 of The Mandalorian is now in production. You can read a spoiler-free review of the first episode here.