MPN Podcast: SAG-AFTRA Strike; Disney’s Box Office Misses Due to Streaming?

MPN Podcast: SAG-AFTRA Strike; Disney’s Box Office Misses Due to Streaming?


On this month’s episode of the Media Play News podcast, hosts Charles Parkman and Charlie Showley revisit the writers strike, now more than two months old. The writers have been joined by the members of SAG-AFTRA because of a breakdown in negotiations over pay and worries about the increased usage of AI technologies in the industry. This impacts not just production shoots, but ongoing promotions of films and shows, which actors are prevented from attending. With San Diego Comic-Con 2023 beginning this week it will be interesting to see how headlining panels are affected. 

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As if striking writers and actors isn’t bad enough for studios, Disney in particular is suffering financial setbacks with several big budget films coming in under expectations and its Disney+ service operating at a yearly loss of more than $1 billion. The streaming platform may be partially to blame for movies such as Elemental performing poorly in theaters as consumers have grown to expect movies to jump to streaming within a couple of months of their debut. Other underperforming films include Quantumania and the latest “Indiana Jones,” movies with budgets upwards of $200 million and advertising budgets of another $100 million. Squeezed between workers demanding fairer pay and better working conditions and audiences’ interests waning on previously reliable tentpole franchises, is Disney on the brink of a pivot into changing their theatrical and streaming strategy? Listen to hear the hosts’ discussion.

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