7 Biggest Disney Disasters of 2023: Box Office Catastrophes, LGBTQ for Kids, Snow White

The Walt Disney Company Former CEO and Chairman Robert Iger speaks onstage during Vox Medi
Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Vox Media

It was another bad year for The Walt Disney Company.

Disney planned to spend 2023 celebrating its 100th anniversary, mounting a number of festivities to commemorate the company’s historic 1923 founding by brothers Walt and Roy O. Disney. Instead, the once invincible studio spent the year battling one bad news cycle after another.

From an unprecedented string of box-office flops to continued streaming woes, Disney failed to mount a comeback after an even more disastrous 2022. Shares of Disney are stagnating near three-year lows with little upside seen in the near future. As a result, the company is fighting ruinous wars in the boardroom in addition to the ones it is waging in the larger culture.

The bad news just keeps coming. Disney is planning an additional $2 billion in spending cuts in 2024 after laying off 7000 workers worldwide earlier this year.

2023 marked Bob Iger’s first full year back on the job. But his magic touch is noticeably absent this time around, with Iger himself admitting he is feeling “overwhelmed and exhausted” by the number of challenges.

Here are seven of Disney’s biggest disasters of 2023.

1). Box-office catastrophes — The Marvels, Indiana Jones 5, The Little Mermaid, Wish, Ant-Man 3, and more

It was almost a non-stop parade of box-office flops for Disney this year — an unprecedented losing streak for a studio that used to mint money at the theater thanks to brands like Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm. But the magic is gone. And so are the paying audiences, which are no longer flocking to the big screen in the numbers they used to just a few years ago.


Other recent flops include Haunted Mansion, A Haunting in Venice, and Pixar’s Elemental.

2). Doubling down on LGBTQ content for children

Will Disney ever learn from its mistakes? Probably not.

Disney spent 2023 doubling down on gay and transgender messaging to children. As Breitbart News reported, GLAAD recently announced that Disney (and Netflix) produced more LGBTQ  content than any other major Hollywood studio.

At its theme parks, men in drag are greeting children in what has become the company’s inexplicable embrace of gender non-conformity.

Disneyland Video Shows Male Employee Dressed in Drag and Greeting Children (TikTok/kourtnifaber)

The culture war backlash is costing Disney dearly in the PR department.  Politically, the company is still embroiled in its fight with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), even launching a legal war against the state stemming from Disney’s efforts to force LGBTQ indoctrination on public school children.

3). Stagnating stock and boardroom brawls

Disney shares spent much of 2023 stagnating near a three-year low, with little upside seen for the near future — thanks in large part to unimpressive earnings tied to the company’s streaming services. Shareholders are rebelling, with some filing a lawsuit accusing management of deliberately deceiving investors about the financial health and long-term prognosis of the troubled Disney+ streaming service.

Sensing blood in the water, activist investor Nelson Peltz is waging a proxy battle in the boardroom, looking to increase his control of the company as confidence in Bob Iger sinks.

4). CEO Bob Iger floundering

2023 was supposed to the year Iger rescued Disney and restored it to its former glory. That hasn’t happened and investors are getting nervous.

In October, Iger was feeling “overwhelmed and exhausted” from the difficulties of rebuilding his company amid its string of losses. The following month, he promised to put entertainment before social justice activism going forward.

“Entertain first, not messages,” Iger said. But does anyone believe him? Iger broke his promise to “quiet things down” in the company’s political war with Florida, only to double down by launching a courtroom battle that could play out for many months come.

5). Streaming failures

Disney’s streaming services have lost billions of dollars this year as the company splurges on content that is having a difficult time connecting with audiences. And while the losses are no longer as bad as they once were, Disney like other legacy studios is have trouble making streaming profitable.

Domestic subscriber growth for Disney+ is stagnating — an ominous sign for a streaming service that is still only a few years old.

As a result, prices have gone up — way up.

This year, the company hiked Disney+’s monthly subscription price to $13.99 from $10.99 — a 27 percent increase. Last year, the price rose to $10.99 from $7.99, which means Disney+ subscribers will see their monthly bill climb a total of 75 percent in less than two years.

6). Mass layoffs

Disney saw one of its biggest layoffs  this year, with 7,000 jobs slashed worldwide in a bloodbath that was intended to help the company regain its financial footing. The layoffs hit many of Disney’s most prominent media properties, including ABC News, NatGeo, and ESPN.

And more is coming: Iger announced an additional $2 billion in cuts in the months ahead.

7). Snow White, starring Rachel Zegler

Who said bad news can’t be funny?

Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of Snow White, starring Rachel Zegler, hasn’t even been released yet and is already a disaster. A lot of the blame goes to Zegler herself. Resurfaced videos showed the woke actress trashing the original animated classic, setting off a worldwide backlash against her.

Leaked photos from the production also inspired widespread ridicule, showing the seven dwarfs as a group of multi-racial, gender-diverse hipsters.

As a result, Disney has delayed the expensive production by a full year to 2025 as the studio contends with widespread negative publicity that has surrounded the production.

Follow David Ng on Twitter @HeyItsDavidNg. Have a tip? Contact me at dng@breitbart.com


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.