Disney's New Movie Strategy: Wait Longer

If Disney (NYSE: DIS  ) learned something from this year's The Lone Ranger flop, it's apparently this: Take your time producing movies. The company's film studio just pushed out the release of Star Wars: Episode VII to December 2015. That move follows delays in Disney's Pixar schedule that will make 2014 the first time in eight years without a new animated film release from that studio.

In the video below, Fool contributor Demitrios Kalogeropoulos talks about what the film delays mean for Disney and for rival DreamWorks Animation (NASDAQ: DWA  ) . He argues that, despite the profit hit that Disney will take, investors and fans alike should applaud these moves that make it more likely that Disney will deliver high-quality products.

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  • Report this Comment On November 17, 2013, at 10:07 PM, esxokm wrote:

    Demitrios,

    I enjoyed your video and respect your opinion, but I must unfortunately disagree.

    I am a Disney shareholder, and I have to be honest and say that I can't understand the need for any delay.

    The talent involved in the Pixar/Lucasfilm projects should simply work harder and smarter to deliver the products on time. While some have argued that the original Star Wars date was never officially the traditional May period, all signs (i.e., articles on the subject) seem to point to May being the date Iger wanted for the next Star Wars project. Summer would have been better, I think, for the movie since there would have been more opportunity for repeat viewing.

    As for Pixar, I have to ask: Did Disney spend so much money on the company so that it could ask for a year off? If anything, Pixar should be releasing two movies every year, maybe more. DreamWorks Animation has at least attempted to commit to that paradigm.

    These gals and guys get paid enough and should be asked to increase their efforts to produce the material sooner rather than later. As far as a guarantee of a better product if there is a delay, well, there really is no such thing -- I'd rather a lower-quality Pixar/Star Wars project delivered on time as opposed to sacrificing an earlier release date. That might sound self-defeating, but it simply acknowledges the existential problem of subjective assessment of quality -- who knows what the marketplace will accept at any given time? Just release it, leverage the brand equity, hope for the best.

    Thanks for the article...

  • Report this Comment On November 18, 2013, at 8:56 AM, TMFSigma wrote:

    Hi esxokm, thanks for watching, and those are all very valid points you raise. There's no guarantee that a delay will bring a better quality movie in any event.

    Probably the worst case scenario here would be multiple delays followed by a box office flop. I think we shareholders have to hope that management has just gotten a little trigger shy after The Lone Ranger results, and that these production problems won't turn into a long-term issue at the film studios.

    Best,

    Demitrios

    TMFSigma

  • Report this Comment On November 18, 2013, at 10:44 AM, cubsblue23 wrote:

    If you are a Disney shareholder and cannot understand delays then you should probably sell now because you obviously do not understand how this company works. Their historical strength has been to get things right and not move too fast. They have made some mistakes lately in doing so. They are correcting those mistakes. The fact that you state you will settle for a lower quality product for the sake of getting something out on time suggests you would be better off giving your shares to someone who understands how the company works and investing in something like Comcast or Time-Warner. They seem to care little about their brand or the future.

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