33 billion dollars; that’s a lot of greenbacks for just about anyone on this entire blessed planet unless your name is Bezos or Musk (brothers, can you spare a dime?).But for the behemoth known as Disney, that total is mere seed money for the possible return they’ll no doubt see once they sink that unwieldly sum into the development of forthcoming television series and films for its variety of streaming venues, according to our bookkeeping muchacho’s over at The Hollywood Reporter.
That nigh ungodly amount of dough (again, let that number sink in – $33 billion) will mark an estimated eight billion dollars more on fresh material that the House of the Mouse doled out for content in 2021.
In its annual report, Disney said of the uptick in money going into its valuable properties that “The increase is driven by higher spend to support our DTC expansion and generally assumes no significant disruptions to production due to COVID-19.” Loosely translated, this means that all of that extra money is significantly being driven by streaming platforms they own such as Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ more so than their theatrical films. The hula-hoop or pet rocks never had the kind of legs streaming apparently does.
So where specifically does all of that money wind up at? Sports rights are apparently more expensive than ever in this day and age and once you throw in long-term locked contracts for exclusive rights, the price goes up faster than a keg at a frat party. Also not to be counted out is that Disney is significantly upping its programing: the Studio division of Uncle Walt’s company have active plans on releasing no less than fifty films for theatrical release as well as on its so-called direct-to-consumer platforms. On top of that, Disney’s General Entertainment section (which includes well-known brands like ABC, National Geographic, FX Productions, Marvel Studios, LucasFilm, Pixar and Twentieth Century Studios) have plans afoot to produce sixty unscripted shows, thirty comedy series, twenty-five drama shows, fifteen docuseries and/or limited series, ten animated series and five made for television movies throughout 2022. Could this behemoth company have possibly stumbled upon an alternate capitalist singalong for The Twelve Days of Christmas? Only time will tell, Dear and Constant Reader.