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Disney’s $100 Million Disney+ Series Lasted a Total of 6 Months

Willow Purged Disney Plus
Credit: Disney

Over the past few years, streaming services have become one of the main ways people watch their favorite shows. Linear programming — shows on cable — has rapidly declined. More people are signing up for services like Hulu and YouTube TV instead of relying on providers like Charter Spectrum for their viewing needs. So, it seemed like smart business when Disney launched its own streaming platform — Disney+ — in November 2019.

Disney Plus

Credit: Disney

Unfortunately, for most of its existence, Disney+ has been nothing but a headache for the House of Mouse. Ex-CEO Bob Chapek said that Disney+ would not be profitable until 2024, but the amount of has lost has exceeded almost all expectations. Disney has lost billions of dollars because of Disney+, losing almost $700 million last quarter alone.

Because of this, now-CEO Bob Iger has said the company is being more critical of the content it produces. Disney is also purging content that is costing them more to have on the platform than it is making. In fact, Disney spent $2.4 BILLION on purging its streamer. One of the purged programs is the Disney+ original Willow. The series was a continuation of the story told in the 1988 film of the same name.

Willow Disney+

Credit: Disney

We are now learning that Disney spent a whopping $105 million to make the show, which only lasted for one season. $100 million for a show canceled after one season and taken off Disney+ six months after it was put there.

Typically, how much a studio spends on a show or movie is not widely known, only estimates are made. However, Willow was shot in the United Kingdom, so the studio must reveal its costs if they wish to receive a 25% tax credit. Disney also took a tax credit that was issued to productions filmed in Wales specifically. That brought Disney’s total cost of making the show to just over $80 million. We don’t know how much the company made on the series, but it wasn’t enough for them to keep it on Disney+.

warwick davis willow show

Credit: Disney

Willow is not the only Disney+ show to be canceled after one season and taken off Disney+. Turner & Hooch, a sequel series to the original Tom Hanks film, has also been removed after one season. Disney also removed Big Shot, The Mysterious Benedict Society, and Diary of a Future President from the platform. All of those shows were canceled after two seasons. National Treasure: Edge of History was also canceled after one season, but remains available to watch on Disney+.

In addition to purging the streamer’s content, Iger also announced that the ad-free tier of Disney+ would be seeing a price increase. It is the second price increase in less than a year. The ad-supported tier will continue to cost $7.99 per month.

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

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