The Walt Disney Studios (division)
|Headquarters||500 S. Buena Vista Street,
Burbank, California, United States
|Key people||Alan Horn (chairman)
Alan Bergman (president)
Sean Bailey (president, motion picture production)
|Products||Motion pictures, music publishing, stage productions|
|Services||Studio production, marketing and distribution|
|Parent||The Walt Disney Company|
|Divisions||Walt Disney Pictures
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures (Touchstone Pictures)
Walt Disney Animation Studios
Disney Music Group
Disney Theatrical Group
Pixar Animation Studios
The Muppets Studio
The Walt Disney Studios is an American film studio, one of the five major businesses of The Walt Disney Company and the main component of its Studio Entertainment segment. The studio, best known for its multi-faceted film division, which is one of Hollywood's major film studios, is based at the eponymous Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California.
The Studios generated an estimated income of $661 million during the 2013 fiscal year. The studio entertainment business alone (live-action and animated motion pictures, direct-to-video content, musical recordings and live stage plays) brought in $5.83 billion in 2012.
By the 1980s, The Walt Disney Studios' collection of film units emerged as one of Hollywood's "Big Six" film studios, mostly due to newly designed efforts in branding strategies, a resurgence of Walt Disney Pictures' animated releases and unprecedented box office successes, particularly from Touchstone Pictures.
In 1998, the Buena Vista Motion Pictures Group was formed by Joe Roth to unite the Touchstone, Hollywood, and Disney film studios with leadership under David Vogel. This was in order to centralize the various production units and to make live-action film production within Disney more cost-efficient.
In 1999, Walt Disney Television, including Buena Vista Television Productions, were transferred out of the Disney Studios to ABC Television Network to merge with ABC's prime-time division to form the ABC Entertainment Television Group.
In January 2003, Disney initiated a reorganization of its theatrical and animation units to improve resource usage and continued focus on new characters and franchise development. Walt Disney Feature Animation—sans Walt Disney Television Animation—and Buena Vista Theatrical Worldwide were organized under The Walt Disney Studios.
In 2003, the first PG-13-rated film was released under the Walt Disney Pictures banner, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, a film based on the famous Disneyland attraction. Film director M. Night Shyamalan, who had done The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs and The Village with Disney clashed with the Group's executives during pre-production of his 2006 film, Lady in the Water. Shyamalan left the studio after Nina Jacobson and others become, in Shyamalan's eyes, overly critical of his script, which would eventually be produced by Warner Bros. Pictures. Shyamalan is quoted in a book about the difficult period that he "had witnessed the decay of her creative vision right before his own wide-open eyes. She didn't want iconoclastic directors. She wanted directors who made money." In her own defense, Jacobson said, "in order to have a Hollywood relationship more closely approximate a real relationship, you have to have a genuine back and forth of the good and the bad. Different people have different ideas about respect. For us, being honest is the greatest show of respect for a filmmaker."
In July 2006, Disney announced a shift in its strategy of releasing more Disney-branded (i.e. Walt Disney Pictures) films and fewer Touchstone titles. The move was expected to reduce the Group's work force by approximately 650 positions worldwide. After being transferred to various other division groups since they were acquired in 2004 in 2006, The Muppets Studio was incorporated into the Walt Disney Studios' Special Events Group. In April 2007, Disney retired the Buena Vista brand, renaming Buena Vista Motion Pictures Group and Buena Vista Pictures Distribution as Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, respectively.
In April 2009, the Studio announced the formation of Disneynature; a nature film production label. The Studio launched its Kingdom Comics division in May, led by writer-actor Ahmet Zappa, TV executive Harris Katleman and writer-editor Christian Beranek. Kingdom was designed to create new properties for possible film development and re-imagine and redevelop existing Disney library movies, with Disney Publishing Worldwide getting a first look for publishing.
On February 9, 2009, DreamWorks Studios entered a 7-year, 30-picture distribution deal with the studio's Touchstone Pictures banner starting in 2011. The deal also includes co-funding by Disney to DreamWorks for production. In late 2009, Miramax Films, a formerly independent Disney film unit, was transferred to the Walt Disney Studios, until its sale in 2010 to Filmyard Holdings. The Kingdom Comics unit's creatives/executives moved its deal to an independent Monsterfoot Productions.
After The Walt Disney Company's purchase of Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion in 2009, Disney began distributing Marvel Studios' films in 2012, acquiring the distribution rights for The Avengers and Iron Man 3 from Paramount Pictures on October 18, 2010.
On October 30, 2012, Lucasfilm agreed to be purchased by The Walt Disney Company and a Star Wars trilogy was announced and was finalized on December 4. Later that year on December 4, Disney agreed to have Netflix as its exclusive U.S. subscription television service for first run Walt Disney Pictures, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios and Disneynature feature films starting in 2016 to replace its agreement ending in 2015 with Starz.
In April 2013, the Walt Disney Studios laid off 150 workers including staff from its marketing and home entertainment units. In December of that year, Disney purchased the distribution and marketing rights to future Indiana Jones films from Paramount Pictures, while Paramount will continue to distributing the first four films and receive "financial participation" from the additional films.
|Walt Disney Motion
|Disney Music Group||Disney Theatrical Group||Disney Studio Services||Special Events Group|
|Walt Disney Pictures
Walt Disney Animation Studios (DisneyToon Studios)
Pixar Animation Studios
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures (Touchstone Pictures)
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
|Walt Disney Records
Disney Music Publishing
|Disney Theatrical Productions
Disney on Broadway
Disney on Ice
|Studio Production Services
Walt Disney Studios (Burbank)
Golden Oak Ranch
The Prospect Studios
Disney Digital Studio Services
|The Muppets Studio|
- Former units include
Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group
Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, Inc. is the main production arm for Disney's motion pictures. Walt Disney Pictures is a film banner that encompasses the release of its own productions, in addition to films produced by the company's animation studios, mainly Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios. Another film banner, Touchstone Pictures, releases films for more mature audiences including films produced by DreamWorks Studios. In 2009, Disney acquired Marvel Entertainment, in addition to purchasing full ownership rights to Marvel Studios' films in 2010. Disneynature is an independent film label devoted to nature documentary productions. In December 2012, Disney purchased Lucasfilm, and its intellectual properties.
Hollywood Pictures was another division of Disney, which, like Touchstone, produced films for mature audiences, but was shut down in 2007. In 1993, Disney acquired Miramax Films and its Dimension Films genre label, with the former division operating as an autonomous unit until 2009, and the Dimension label becoming absorbed by The Weinstein Company in 2005. By 2009, Miramax was folded into the Walt Disney Studios, and continued to serve as distribution label until it was sold by Disney to Filmyard Holdings in 2010. From 2007 to 2010, Disney and ImageMovers ran a joint motion capture animation facility; ImageMovers Digital.
Disney Music Group
Disney Music Group is a music production group led by Ken Bunt, that consists of two record labels—Walt Disney Records and Hollywood Records—and multiple publishing entities that handle Disney's music.
Disney Theatrical Group
Disney Theatrical Group is the division producing live theatrical and stage events. It is currently under the leadership of Thomas Schumacher. The Disney Theatrical Productions division has been responsible for the production of many different musicals, touring events, ice shows and other live theatrical events. Their shows include: Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Aida, Tarzan, Mary Poppins, Newsies and numerous incarnations of Disney on Ice.
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- Official website
- Disney Studio Services
- Disney Digital Studio Services
- History of The Walt Disney Studios