Disney CEO Bob Iger said the company will limit its output of Marvel movies to “two good films” a year — three maximum — from about four and also cut the numbers of TV series spinoffs for the franchise.

Speaking on a conference call with analysts Tuesday after quarterly numbers, Iger took questions about the studio strategy after some high-profile misses led to widespread talk of “superhero fatigue.”

Marvel shows will dip to two series a year from four. He called output “a vestige of basically a desire in the past to increase volume. We are stemmed from a desire in the past to increase volume. We are slowly going to decrease volume.”

Iger said he’s “working hard with the studio to reduce output and focus more on quality” and that “overall I feel great” about how things are shaping up.

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He said Disney more broadly is going to balance sequels with originals but defended the latter. “There’s a lot of value in sequels” since the properties are known and require less effort in terms of marketing.

“We had gone through a period where our original films in animation were dominating. We are now swinging back a bit to lean on sequels,” he said, noting Inside Out 2 coming this summer and plans for Toy Story 5. In terms of Marvel specifically, an original Thunderbolts is coming along with Deadpool & Wolverine this summer and new installments coming of Captain American and Avengers.

Reduced Marvel output isn’t great news for exhibition as theaters struggle to return to pre-Covid levels with what seems to be fewer releases overall.

Asked about 20th Century Fox content, he said “we’ll continue to look at the library to see what can be mined,” noting Alien: Romulus, “Avatar 3, which is coming, obviously Planet of the Apes, where there might be more opportunity pending the success of the [latest] film, to do more.”

“I don’t think we’ll necessarily lean into the library, but we’ll continue to look opportunistically at it.”

The film studio results are lumped in Disney’s entertainment division with linear networks and streaming, under Content Sales/Licensing & Other. The studio was a drag last quarter as the company noted lower theatrical distribution results with no significant titles released versus Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania in the prior-year quarter, which also also included ongoing coin from Avatar: The Way of Water. Disney also noted higher film cost impairments for the quarter.

Pressed on the studio, Disney CFO Hugh Johnston described a transition period. “We certainly feel very good about the upcoming slate [and] that the business should get back to profitability. We certainly feel good about it being a healthy, profitable business over time. Beyond that, I don’t want to get into quarterly guidance on a sub-component of one of our segments.”

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