All hell broke loose at Disney yesterday, and when the dust cleared, 650 people -- including Nina Jacobsen, the company's well-regarded head of live-action production -- had been canned, and movie production had been cut by over 30%. Though the fallout from the changes (particularly the firing of Jacobsen) will no doubt resonate for weeks, the facts are these: Disney is turning its focus inward, towards the Disney brand in general, and "emphasiz[ing] blockbuster franchise films over more adult fare," as evidence by the reduction of "esoteric" arm Touchstone's output to only two or three films per year.

Though I'd argue with that characterization of Touchstone (in addition to Hidalgo, The Village and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, the label also produced Sweet Home Alabama and The Hot Chick), it's a small detail. The primary impetus behind all remains Disney's determination to concern itself with the broader potential of its successful branded franchises. For example, "A hit like Pirates of the Caribbean ... can spawn video games, action figures, cable TV shows and ... give new life to an old Disney theme park attraction." It's still far too early to judge the long-term impact of these changes, but it's hard not to see the decision to replace Jacobsen with Oren Aviv, a man whose last job with the company had him in charge of marketing, among other things, as a sign of things to come. And you thought that list of POTC products was a joke!
categories Movies, Cinematical