Both of the following quotes are from The Disney War by James Stewart.
We have no obligation to make art. We have no obligation to make history. We have no obligation to make a statement. But to make money, it is often important to make history, to make art, or to make some significant statement…. In order to make money, we must always make entertaining movies, and if we make entertaining movies, at times we will reliably make history, art, a statement, or all three. We may even win awards…. We cannot expect numerous hits, but if every film has an original and imaginative concept, then we can be confident that something will break through.
-Michael Eisner, 1982??? in a written memo discussing the success of Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981, Disney War, page 32
In the notoriously fickle business of moviemaking, twenty-seven of Disney’s first thirty-three films under the Eisner/Wells/Katzenberg regime had been profitable, including nineteen in a row. Disney seemed to have discovered a foolproof formula for hit movies, something that had eluded even the greatest of filmmakers.
-James Stewart in Disney War, page 108
So, what happened to Disney’s streak of hits after the late 90’s? The loss of Katzenberg? The stunning and unrecoverable loss of Frank Wells?