Disney Honcho Bob Iger has been shedding light on the Mouse's moves:
The biggest challenge in running a company as big and varied as Disney is "to maintain the balance between heritage and innovation." ...
... "When I came into the job, I weighed the options. I felt that losing the relationship with Pixar when their contract expired would be a shame. And so we brought into the company a culture of innovation, of never accepting mediocrity."
... "I was trying to establish a direction for Disney. Also, $7.3 billion was "just around," Iger quipped, then correcting himself, "actually $1 billion (was) in cash."
What I've never gotten in the Hollywood culture is studio management's slavish reliance on a few entities' successes. They'll pay billions for a successful track record from outside, but won't risk a fraction of that on talented nobodies that already live within their golden walls.
In the past half-century, few executives have trusted their own judgement and gut instincts and rolled the dice on unproven Spielbergs or Camerons. Ninety-eight percent of the time, they want the creators who have been validated elsewhere, no matter what the cost.
But who am I kidding? Of course I understand why this happens. Even high-level suits can lose their high-grade executive jobs and big salaries if they engage some obscure director or screenwriter who then crashes and burns with a high-profile project. But when an expensive talent with a long track record flames out, that's different. The exec is immunized. He went with the safe, obvious choice, so how can anyone blame him for the resulting failure?
It even happens -- maybe especially happens -- with highly-placed CEOs like Robert Iger.