A new report indicates the newly announced Kevin Feige Star Wars film was a pink slip for Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy.
Reddit user oryanjohnson, who claims to be a reporter who has worked in government and business for nearly 20 years, believes Kennedy was demoted with the announcement of Feige’s Star Wars film. Muck Rack reveals O’Ryan Johnson has written for the Boston Herald and CRN. It’s unclear if the two are the same person.
Reddit user oryanjohnson writes:
“If you are the President of a division of a company, and the CEO takes the president of a more successful division and gives them your resources, personnel, and your IP, and has them answer to someone higher than you in the organization, then I hate to tell you this, but you have been demoted.
This is what happened to Kennedy last night. Her three year contract has two years left, and will expire in 2021.”
He then speculates that Kennedy will more than likely not be working on Star Wars moving forward instead she will be spending her time working on the next Indiana Jones film with Stephen Spielberg.
He points out that Star Wars will more than likely now be run by Feige, Jon Favreau, and Dave Filoni.
“More than likely her “duties” will be to run the next Indy project with her long time collaborator, Stephen Spielberg, as Feige, Favreau, and Filoni take over Star Wars television and film projects.”
He also emphasizes that this move was to “resuscitate a dying brand that has lost viewers.”
“This wasnt done as a favor to Kevin. He has plenty to do without the stress and headaches involved in Star Wars. This is a move made to resuscitate a dying brand that has lost viewers, and is dragging down sales in other divisions, like parks and recreation, and licensed merchandise.”
There is a whole lot of truth in that last statement. The Star Wars brand has been struggling ever since the release of The Last Jedi. And Disney is admitting it. In their Q3 Financial Report and Q3 Earnings Call they admitted that park attendance at Disneyland was down 3% despite recently opening Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
Disney admitted that Star Wars merchandise sales are also way down despite seeing an increase in Toy Story sales.
“The increase at our consumer products business was due to growth at our merchandise licensing and retail businesses. Growth at merchandise licensing was primarily due to higher revenue from merchandise based on Toy Story, partially offset by a decrease from Star Wars merchandise. The increase at our retail business was due to higher comparable store sales and online revenue.”
They just eliminated their Disney Parks West President position that was helmed by Catherine Powell. (Report: After Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge Failure, Disney Parks West President Catherine Powell’s Position Eliminated)
They also admitted that Solo: A Star Wars Story, the most recent Star Wars film was a bomb. In fact, Solo was the main reason that their theatrical distribution results lagged behind this years.
“The increase in theatrical distribution results was due to the performance of Avengers: Endgame, Aladdin, Captain Marvel and Toy Story 4 in the current quarter compared to Avengers: Infinity War, Incredibles 2, Black Panther and Solo: A Star Wars Story in the prior-year quarter.”
They also recently canceled their animated Star Wars Resistance show after only two seasons. (Related: Disney Cancels Star Wars Resistance as Kylo Ren Appears in Season 2 Trailer)
And as ItchyBacca at Disney Star Wars Is Dumb highlights interest in Star Wars it an all time low based on Google Trends searches.
Was curious to see how #starwars has trended over time, so used #googletrends back to 2004 (b4 Revenge of the Sith), as you can see, debut of movies stands out, the overall Star wars interest has slowly decreased over the past 16 yrs and is the lowest now than in all that time. pic.twitter.com/r95fLiYeEQ
— DɅNiEL JɅMΞS (@danev888) September 22, 2019
Disney needed to make changes in order to bring the brand back to where it used to be. Now, we will see if Kevin Feige can do just that.