After String of Huge Failures, Disney Movie President Steps Down, Effective Immediately

Sean Bailey Stepping Down Disney Motion Pictures
All Images Credit Disney

It is no secret that Disney has been having some real struggles at the box office since the pandemic. Despite creating movies that viewers really enjoy, like Elemental (2023) and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023), the company just can’t seem to get people to go to the theater. Despite the failure of The Marvels, Marvel has remained relatively steady and reliable. Disney and Pixar movies, on the other hand, can’t seem to get people interested enough to leave their houses.

ember lumen voice by leah lewis and wade voice by mamoudou athie in element city

Credit: Pixar Animation Studios

When Bob Iger again took the reins as CEO in November 2022, he said he focused on giving creative power back to the creatives. That means that they would get to make the stories they wanted, and would receive all the praise if the movie was a hit. But they would also be held responsible if the movie was a flop.

In 2022, Disney and Pixar released what would be one of the biggest flops of the year, Lightyear. The movie lost around $106 million, and Disney and Pixar faced a lot of backlash. Iger was so displeased with how Lightyear performed that, when company layoffs were happening, the executives behind the failure found themselves on the unemployment line.


Credit: Disney/Pixar

And now, another major Disney executive is parting ways with the company.

Sean Bailey — who has been with the Walt Disney Company for 15 years — announced that he is stepping down as President of Walt Disney Motion Picture Studios. He said that he is leaving to pursue “entrepreneurial endeavors.” 

“These 15 years at Disney have been an incredible journey, but the time is right for a new chapter. I’m deeply grateful to my exceptional team and proud of the slate and history we’ve built together. I joined Disney while producing Tron: Legacy, so it seems fitting that I will have the opportunity to work on the latest Tron as I depart. I wish Bob Iger, Alan Bergman, and all my amazing colleagues the very best for a bright future.”

Will Smith Aladdin

Credit: Disney

Related: Aladdin Star Talks About Potential Sequel; Won’t Be Based On Animated Version

Throughout his decade and a half with the company, Mr. Bailey has seen some incredibly high highs. He was President when Disney released live-action hits like Beauty and the Beast (2017), Aladdin (2019), The Lion King (2019), Hocus Pocus 2 (2022), and Disenchanted (2022). Walt Disney Studio’s biggest hit of the year — the live-action Little Mermaid — was also released under Bailey’s supervision.

Unfortunately, he also saw some big lows with films like Haunted Mansion (2023), as well as live-action remake flops, including Lady and the Tramp (2019) and Pinocchio (2022).

freeform 31 nights of halloween disney+ walt disney company 163 Emmy nominations awards best hocus pocus 2 television movie disney plus

Credit: Disney+

Related: Kathy Najimy Explains Major Change In Mary Sanderson in Hocus Pocus 2

Taking over for Mr. Bailey is David Greenbaum, the current co-President of Searchlight Pictures, which is owned by Disney. Greenbaum is currently riding high from the studio’s latest hit, Poor Things, starring Emma Stone and Mark Ruffalo.

Greenbaum will now have the title of President, Disney Live Action and 20th Century Studios. He will report to chairman Alan Bergman, the head of Disney Entertainment. The final Disney film under Bailey’s supervision will be Tron: Ares, which is expected to be released in either 2025 or 2026.

What do you think of Disney’s studio shakeup? Let us know in the comments!

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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