While mergers between entertainment giants can be very fun to speculate about among fans — rumors of intriguing crossovers and much awaited new movies — they can also be a bit nerve-wracking on the personnel end. That’s because when you smush several companies together, you often get what is called “redundancy” — many people with the same job, now all under the same corporate umbrella.
This is not to say that recent rumors about Disney possibly tightening the belt on its bright red pair of pantaloons means anything on the comic book side of things. But how does the Internet meme go? I’m not saying it’s aliens, but…
“Disney, whose empire spans TV, film, merchandise and theme parks, is exploring cutbacks in jobs it no longer needs because of improvements in technology, one of the people said. It is also looking at redundant operations that could be eliminated following a string of major acquisitions over the past few years, said the person.”
That “redundant operations” part + “major acquisitions” is the main takeaway there. Consider Disney’s publishing divisions. They’ve got Marvel Comics…and they’ve also got a publishing division within Disney that is also equipped to make comics (and indeed does so for the foreign and children’s markets). Now you have Star Wars properties in the mix. Are the comics for these staying at Dark Horse? Or are they being brought into Marvel? Or are they being brought into Disney Publishing, which also has a hand in licensed material? Further, Disney Publishing is on the West Coast — which makes them closer to the studios, and easier to perform synergy between the movie and printed format.
Marvel Comics has already endured a large round of layoffs in 2011, in what was called a cost-cutting measure. Were any of these the delayed result of the 2009 Disney merger?
That all being said, the Reuters article seems to indicate that cuts in the movie divisions might be first. Where does a slew of “Star Wars” sequels leave fellow less-famous space opera “Guardians of the Galaxy”?
The questions are endless here, and some of the answers will no doubt impact both the comic book and movie industry in the coming year.