Disney has seen its films flop at the box office since it leaned heavily into wokeness in its movies and angered conservatives by involving itself in a fight with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. While there are undoubtedly a variety of reasons for that beyond conservative outrage, such as growing boredom with superhero movies and people getting out of the habit of going to theaters during Covid, the downward trend for Disney has been taken as something of a victory by many conservatives.
To give just a few examples, the latest Indiana Jones film performed poorly, particularly given how much nostalgia people of all ages had for the originals, then the latest Marvel movie had a painfully poor performance, and now “Wish” is faring badly at the box office.
In fact, “Wish” was expected to bring in about $66 million at the box office by Monday, with the absolute worst case expectation being $49 million. And those figures were somewhat low to begin with given that “Wish” was an animated feature intended to celebrate Disney’s 100th anniversary and came out over the Thanksgiving weekend, giving audiences 5 days to see it.
But even those rock-bottom expectations proved overly optimistic, with “Wish” now looking like its box office haul came out, for the five-day weekend, as somewhere between $35 million and $38 million, well below even the worst expectation for the weekend.
The poor performance should not have come as much of a surprise to those used to Disney movies flopping, particularly considering that it got only a lukewarm reception form critics on Rotten Tomatoes. They, over 81 reviews before its mainstream release, gave it just a 49 percent.
Box Office Pro, commenting on the issue with Disney movies right now, said, “Disney’s streaming-focused strategies during the pandemic severely disrupted their particular audience’s expectations of content availability and eroded some of the studio’s brand. Conversely, other animation studios have shown that big screen, blockbuster success on the animated canvas is still very achievable in the current market.”
Showing the poor reception of the film, or at least general lack of audience interest in it, Deadline reports that on the Friday and Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, a time when many families theoretically would be bored and looking for something family friendly to do, “Wish” only garnered $8 million and $7 million.
Making the results all the worse are that the animated movie’s production costs were somewhere in the $175 million to $200 million range. When the marketing costs of the film are taken into account and the movie studio’s cut is taken, it’s clear that “Wish” is deeply in the red and audiences are generally uninterested.
Unfortunately for Disney stockholders and those hoping to be at least somewhat entertained by a Disney product, the company indicated that it won’t back down on wokeness issues. Saying as much in its annual SEC filing, Disney said, “Further, consumers’ perceptions of our position on matters of public interest, including our efforts to achieve certain of our environmental and social goals, often differ widely and present risks to our reputation and brands.”
Featured image credit: By Lyn Fairly Media – YouTube: SBIFF 2022: WEST SIDE STORY – ARIANA DEBOSE – View/save archived versions on archive.org and archive.today, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=116060982
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