IMAX CEO Says Disney Flicks Are Plan B Behind ‘Dune’ Sequel

Spanning three decades (the 2000s, 2010s, and 2020s), 32 movies (not including television projects) and countless billions in cinema tickets, licensing rights, toys, video games, etc., have been sold, making this franchise an unqualified commercial success.

When “Iron Man” was released in 2008, the Walt Disney Company arguably couldn’t have predicted the success (or failure) of the “Marvel Cinematic Universe.” (MCU)

That’s remarkable whether you like the franchise or not. It’s even more astounding when you remember that Iron Man wasn’t exactly a top-tier hero until that groundbreaking 2008 film and that the MCU wasn’t even an idea back then.

After 15 years, Disney’s blockbusters have allegedly become “backup” pictures. This is despite the fact that they have created enormous profits and influence for the company.

The Independent reported a transcript of an earnings call held by IMAX on Wednesday in which CEO Richard Gelfond made some less-than-favorable comments.

Regarding the movie The Marvels, Gelfond said they are more committed to the sequel to the blockbuster science fiction epic “Dune.” “The Marvels” is a Disney/Marvel film. On November 10th, “The Marvels” will be released on November 3rd, “Dune: Part Two” will be removed.

As it stands, “Dune: Part Two” will receive the lion’s share of the IMAX audience (and the higher ticket prices that come with it).

The CEO of IMAX said that the female-led “Marvels” picture was “great,” but that IMAX cinemas wouldn’t “go over to” the Disney feature unless “Dune 2” was either delayed or relocated.

“Dune 2” will not be delayed, according to Gelfond. According to Gelfond, Dune 2 is highly unlikely to move. 

Meanwhile, “The Marvels” has been demoted to IMAX’s backup plan.

Perhaps Gelfond’s most cutting of backhanded compliments was when he stated that having a Marvel movie as a backup is “not the worst position to be in.”

Disney and Marvel need a victory on their hands following a horrible run of business that has led to significant layoffs.

They have suffered numerous noteworthy losses in recent memory, including

“Haunted Mansion” and the much-hyped “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.”

The dismal results for Disney and Pixar’s “Elemental” were much worse than expected.

After spending $53 million on “Crater,” Disney saw its popularity plummet drastically, so the company decided to pull the program off its streaming platform to save money on licensing agreements.

Given the absence of enthusiasm for “The Marvels,” Disney has a formidable challenge, if not an existential one, in 2023 and beyond.