HomeDisney+Disney's Willow Show Cost Over $150 Million For 8 Episodes!

Disney’s Willow Show Cost Over $150 Million For 8 Episodes!

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Do you remember the “Willow” show on Disney+? You might not, as it was released and then removed from the service within six months of its release. The show was meant to be a sequel to the 1988 film “Willow,” starring Warwick Davis, but now it’s just gone.

It seems that Disney may have pulled it over the cost of the series and the lack of viewership.

The show cost $156.8 million, which is about $19.6 million per episode! $53 million was spent on the London office of Industrial Light and Magic (ILM).

Early reports estimated the total to be closer to $100 – $105 million. That is true, but only if you don’t count the money spent at ILM.

In a new Forbes report, Caroline Reid describes how the show was partially shot in the UK to get some financial credit from their government. However, the film was filed under a shell company called Barking Lion Productions.

Disney / Lucasfilm received reimbursement from the UK for their Audio-Visual Expenditure Credit (AVEC) and another $5 million grant for filming in the UK. According to Reid, This reduced the total to about $120.7 million.

When “Willow” was released, it did not perform well. Samba TV reported that the two episodes launched at the premiere were watched by only 481k households in the first five days of its release.

For comparison, Ms Marvel’s one-episode premiere was watched by 775K US households in the first five days. “Secret Invasion,” which has the lowest-rated episode of any MCU show, was watched by 994k households in the first five days. That is more than 2X the viewership of “Willow.”

According to Reid, filings also clarified that there would not be a “Willow” season 2.

…Disney has pulled Willow from its Disney+ streaming platform and its filings reveal that work on a second season has been “abandoned” even though its executive producer Jonathan Kasdan has described it as being on pause.

There have been increasing reports that Disney has lost a lot of money on theatrical and Disney+ shows. Even their big “tentpole” franchises are not performing to the profits that Disney needs to make. This is likely why Disney CEO Bob Iger is mandating fewer shows with lower budgets.

Lucasfilm lost money on Indiana Jones, one of the worst-performing films of 2023. It’s doubtful they made money on “Willow” as well. Kathleen Kennedy is responsible for two out of three franchises that lost the company millions, but she’s still there for some unknown reason.

What do you think? Comment and let us know!


Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.



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