Could Disney Sell Star Wars?

That’s what Disney insider WDW Pro’s latest information dump makes possible if it’s true.  Essentially, COVID has Disney so strapped for cash, that some are speculating that it may have to sell assets including ESPN, A & E, History Channel, TRON, or perhaps maybe even Star Wars.

The following was posted by WDW Pro:

WDW Pro

POST 1:

Cash-Strapped Disney

Let me preface this post by saying I know much more than I’m going to say in this thread. That’s just the way it’s going to have to be in order to protect sources, prevent doxing, and keep jobs safe. Additionally, it lets those sharing info with me know that if something needs to be off the record, it will stay if the record.

The Disney company is currently hurting for cash, and not by a little. The absolute destruction of the global film industry means that Disney is losing billions and billions of usual expected revenues with no certain end in sight. Mulan has been pushed to the end of August, but even that still seems optimistic, and likely box office revenues may by as low as 20% of what it could have been. A burgeoning cold war with China likewise makes promoting the film an uncertain formula. The MCU is currently benched, live action Star Wars is on pause, Indiana Jones 5 is more unlikely daily, and there’s simply no good path forward outside of the animation studios. Furthering the dearth of income, Disneyland was prepped to reopen at great expense, only to be indefinitely postponed yet again. The money to reopen Walt Disney World has been immense, but with increasing COVID infections in Florida, it seems more and more likely that increasing capacity will be a slow process, which means revenues for WDW will be lower than projected when the rush was approved to get the parks open fast. Adding to this, capex projects needing completing at WDW are substantial, more than ever in the past decade. Conflict has broken out inside Disney’s top levels with some pushing for continued spending in new projects, such as Splash Mountain reskinning, while others are extremely bearish with a view that Disney should hold every possible dollar.

It is from within this paradigm that Disney is now struggling with public messaging not matching internal capabilities. For example, Splash Mountain changes were announced with little design ready to implement, based off of a blue sky design that had a concept art package quickly produced for social media advertising. Just one problem: the actuaries were not approached, nor were budgets forecast for the changes. In fact, you might say a rogue committee approved the decision without determining the cost or the feasibility… and then the company realizes the issue after public announcement. So what to do? As of now, the plan is to “quickly” change the DLR version, where it is more likely to be received positively, then use Epcot capex funds that would have gone to Mary Poppins and JII to change the superior WDW version starting in 2022 or 2023. However, hopes that Disney can plus the attraction are difficult to materialize with Imagineering already completely flummoxed how they can possibly reskin many dozens of animatronics in a crown jewel attraction. One imagineer has compared the task to retheming Pirates of the Caribbean to a Jungle Book ride. Yet more attractions are likely to be modified, budgets be damned. This has created friction even all the way to the Bobs with Iger doing everything he can to save his legacy, while Chapek tries not to be the fall guy while looking at a company in dire financial straits. Whereas Chapek wanted to spend the capital necessary to retrofit MK for a pandemic and then slowly open other parks as demand and money permitted, Iger overruled the plan and pushed for a full reopening to prevent Universal from getting the upper hand.

Now the company has greater inner turmoil than at any point in the recent past. Spending is continuing in spite of depression-like revenues projected for the remainder of the year… and often on new projects of a social nature (changes are coming to Hall of Presidents, Jungle Cruise, Country Bears, Pirates of the Carribean, Carousel of Progress, etc). This is coming from one or two factions in the company who share overlap. Other factions are scared the company is stretched thin and needs to hold spending as much as possible. Fear also exists that if relations with China deteriorate, the company could lose both Shanghai and Hong Kong. Not since WWII has uncertainty been so high. The cost of maintaining parks during a pandemic are significantly higher, yet raising ticket prices is nearly impossible.

Going forward, what does this mean?

1. Epcot changes are likely to be MUCH less than originally planned.
2. Layoffs are coming.
3. Announced additions are on very long timelines.
4. Disney World having to close again would be devastating.
5. OLC and Disney relations are strained; expect that to manifest in visible ways.
6. Every penny counts, and cost cutting measures can be expected within 12 months.
7?. Is Chapek the fall guy? Many are speculating Iger plans to use him as the scapegoat.
8. 50th celebration is essentially canceled down to only things that cost little… no new floats, no big refurbs.

Additional info on Splash:
This whole Splash Mountain thing was torpedoed by Tokyo. Disney wanted to get completely away from Song of the South, but OLC essentially told them to pound sand. That meant they’re stuck spending enormous money just to match the current quality, and simultaneously NOT getting away from Song of the South. So the only gain they get is Tiana might sell better in the souvenir shop.

MORE POSTS:

Post2

Post3

Post4

Post5

Post6

Post7

Post8

And of course, I’m sure this doesn’t make things any better:

Nicholson1

And apparently, Disney – or someone – doesn’t want this video to be seen, whatever it was.

Nicholson2

Thanks to General Friendliness for the tip.

UPDATE:

SC1

32 thoughts on “Could Disney Sell Star Wars?

  1. Did I miss something? I read through the whole entry and don’t remember seeing WDW Pro say anything about LFL being one of the assets possibly being sold off. Don’t get me wrong, I was really hoping to see that and have heard a couple YTers mention the possibility (to either Paramount or Universal and have something to do with GL in that deal). At this point, whatever it takes to get rid of KK’s feminazi cultural Marxism crap from SW will be a huge step in the right direction.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. If it really will turn out that Disney goes broke, things will be… interesting.
    1. Chilling effect, the corporations will get their shit together, many may even scrub their barnacles (not unprecedented — blog.jim.com/culture/pushing-back-on-social-justice-warriors/ for example).
    2. Others will change business model toward more racket (with IP hand-wringing) and push for Ministry of Culture.

    Like

    • They have survived this type of stuff before, it will just cut a lot of fat. SW won’t be one of them due to the stuff already coming for Disney+.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I already seen this before and nowhere did it mention anything about potentially selling Star Wars. Plus with the recent announcement of the Bad Batch show, it doesn’t make sense for them now wanting to sell the IP. Them selling Tron also wouldn’t make sense due to Tron 3 pretty much being more or less confirmed after last week. I could see them MAYBE selling off like ESPN or something or their non important stakes but that’s kinda it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, unless I’m mistaken, GL developed story treatments for Episodes 7-9 and stand alones simply to make selling LFL to Disney more attractive. Perhaps Disney is doing the same thing?

      Like

      • That still doesn’t mean they are selling it though. We know about the story treatments but nothing about the “spinoffs being more attractive” part.

        Like

  4. It’s a shame Kenobi was cancelled by Kathy Kennedy – I’m guessing with all these people at home as a captive audience that a Disney + show filmed in the ideal social isolation of the high tech Mando set would have been handy right about now as a Disney + boost. Oh Kathy….

    Like

    • That’s one way of looking at it. But look at what ‘Solo’ has done to Han, and Rogue One has done to Luke.

      This is clearly Kenobi staying in a mint, unopened package. If you read it this way, you should be happy and not sad.

      Like

  5. Probably wishful thinking, but DANG that’d be one hell of a great wish to see become reality! At least, assuming the buyer is competent.

    Has there been any instance anyone here knows of where Disney sold off an IP, outside of selling back Saban’s tokusatsu adaptations? Because the early Neo-Saban years didn’t do Power Rangers any favors. As hard as it is to believe someone would handle Star Wars worse than Disney has, after TFA I didn’t think they could find a suckier director than J.J. Abrams either.

    Like

    • So, here’s an odd thought…
      Based entirely on YT titles, here’s a new tidbit floating around from which i infer Johnny Depp has been screwed out of a lot of money by Disney. He’s missing something like 750mil$ from some kind of sculduggery. He’s furious at Disney. I have no idea if these two things are directly tied to each other…however, Disney may be on the hook for remedies to Depp being let go from Pirates.

      Depp has some producer/executive credits according to IMDB.

      Dark Shadows, The Rum Diary, The Lone Ranger (i liked this flick, btw), Mortdecai, as well as some random directing gigs.

      It could be interesting, since Disney is cash strapped right now (yay!), if Depp, as restitution, picked up a “major property” from Disney?

      He couldn’t do any worse than the current reich. He knows what magic is. He seems to have a good heart. Hmm.

      Like

      • Hmmm… interesting train of thought! Any idea if he’s got proper respect for non-movie entries in a franchise that started with movies? ‘Cause between the decanonizations of both the Star Wars EU and Tron 2.0’s timeline to replace them both with watered-down, recycled crap, this whole “Itt nut muvee sew it dunt cownt!” mentality has proven to be a real pain.

        Like

        • Well, here are the 2 thoughts which I combined.
          – Disney is more likely to bury a property than part with it. I don’t mean to put words in their mouth, but I seem to recall someone, like clownfishtv saying words to this effect. So, if true, you’d have to force them to let go of something, and a court case where they aren’t in a position to pay out would make it more attractive for them to hand off a property. They are distressed, and that is when you can get really good deals on stuff.

          – Star Wars in particular should be and still is a license to print money. The problem is that nobody is willing to run the machine like it was designed to. Disney is pandering to the elite crowd of late, which is why they are doing everything they can to push the feminism agenda. If someone else got their hands on the machine that is SW, and wanted to get it making money as fast as it can again, all they have to do is find the right people to employ, manage them correctly, and there would be no stopping the profit. With all the post-modernistic shit Hollywood is making these days, all it would take is a movie with some class and it would shame everyone else (like Joker did). For this example, like I said, Johnny knows what magic is. If he can *produce* and appreciate the potential, he doesn’t even have to really know star wars, he just has to appreciate what it is, and work with good people.

          This could be the case for any property of theirs, well, any they’ve BOUGHT. Maybe pirates. You get the idea.

          Oh, yeah. No, i really don’t know anything about his abilities or sensibilities. I suspect he’s a nice guy but a bit of a lateral thinker and therefore hard to get a handle on. His roles have been varied and he’s shown a lot of intelligence in them. Crybaby, Edward Scissorhands, Benny and Joon. Gilbert Grape. All different characters. The feedback coming out from the Heard shit speaks volumes about him too. P.I. couldn’t find any dirt on him, but tonnes on the woman that hired him. 🤣

          oh well.

          Like

    • As far as worse goes, I don’t know how Time Warner would have handled the movies (given the track record of their post Nolan DC films, likely not good), though they have done some ok animated adaptations of source material before, so you might have gotten some decent EU animated films. However, there is a very high chance you would have gotten Star Wars shows on the CW network led by Berlanti and Goldsman. And if you want to know why that is a bad thing, well…

      Like

  6. I’m not sure they’d sell Star Wars at this point. Yes their movies have been a huge bust, but at the same time The Mandalorian is pretty much the only thing bringing people to Disney+ and they’d lose that if they sold. Maybe in the future Marvel and Disney shows can carry it, but right now they need Star Wars. I hope they sell the History Channel though.

    Like

      • Is it really though? Look at it from their perspective: TFA and Rogue One did well, The Mandalorian is a runaway success.Solo and RoS did badly. TLJ started off strong but ultimately did badly. A recent theatrical showing of ESB did very well. Clearly the brand still has value ie people who will pay money for content. If rumors about the Lucas cut of RoS are true they might try releasing that as a test to see how much interest there still is in the brand. If The Mandalorian had been a failure I think Disney would have sold, but like I said, not only is it a runaway success it’s pretty much the only thing on Disney+ people are talking about. That makes Star Wars very valuable to Disney at this point.

        Like

  7. Pingback: REPORT: Disney’s COVID Related Financial Trouble Could See Them Sell Major Assets – Society Reviews

  8. Pingback: The Pedophillium Falcon | Disney Star Wars is Dumb

  9. Would be interesting if they did so, though one would think only something like an Amazon or a Netflix has the capital to do a purchase like that right now (as most other movie companies are in a similar position to Disney right now). While Disney has a reputation for hoarding IPs, even when not using them, they do have a reputation for selling broadcasters, studios, networks, etc. So its possible that they could sell off Lucasfilm or ILM if they deemed them no longer necessary. Doesn’t mean they would sell off Star Wars itself though as selling off the associated studio eliminates the costs of the IP itself, while also leaving it open for future use.

    Looking up IPs that they have sold in the past, the most stand out one is the Power Rangers, which is also considered a very dormant IP compared to Star Wars.

    Like

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