THE NAME’S AKIRA, and boy do I have a story to tell you. This is so insane that I can’t believe I am about to say this. As a Disney fan, the company has flopped hard in terms of its box office receipts. Yeah, despite the company that outgrossed the most compared to other studios with approximately $3.4 billion dollars as of writing, you can’t deny it also had a number of box office bombs due to creative choices and lack of vision.
To prove my point as to why the majority of the films released this year have not done well at the box office, it’s best to use the 2.5x rule. It’s how much a movie needs to earn in order to call it a success by multiplying its budget to 2.5. Let’s say a movie has a budget of $100 million. If you multiply that to 2.5, then a film needs to at least earn at least $250 million to be profitable. Sure, we have this break-even rule wherein it needs to double the box office from its budget, but that does not include the marketing for the film which ranges from $100-150 million.
To start things off is Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. What was meant to be the first film in the Phase Five of Marvel Cinematic Universe definitely started out not with a bang but a whimper. Like, M.O.D.O.K’s design looks atrocious, Jonathan Majors’ villain was wasted, and the story didn’t feel like one vision at all due to reshoots for the third act. It only grossed almost $480 million against a $200 million budget – which absolutely underperformed.
Next is the live-action remake of one of Disney’s fairy tale classics The Little Mermaid wherein even before it was released, the same already garnered controversy. Not necessarily only for Halle Bailey’s casting as the titular princess but more of why the studio needs to adapt almost every single animated classic into live-action. For the most part, it grossed around $570 million against a $250 million-budget but not a billion unlike its live-action predecessors.
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, the fifth and the last installment of the franchise, also did not do well. But compared to the first two bombs mentioned, this is a gigantic misfire as it took more than $300 million dollars to make. It only grossed $381 million. It needed at least $600 to $700 million in earnings to be profitable. This was due to the decision to make Ford’s titular character to be grumpy and lonely, with Phoebe Waller-Bridge taking the spotlight.
With Haunted Mansion, this is a film that was, to be very frank, destined to bomb at the box office. Apart from being based on a theme ride in which not anyone in the Philippines is familiar, it was released in July even though it is meant to be for Halloween. With a budget of approximately $150 million, it bombed hard with merely $100 million as of writing. It’s sad because of how good the cast was and what could have been the perfect film for families.
Only two films made somewhat of a success and better headlines for the House of Mouse. That’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 which at least grossed $845 million against its $250 million budget by Marvel and Elemental wherein even though it did terrible with $29 million on opening weekend, it made a big turnaround thanks to word of mouth which was able to garner $478 million. That being said, these are not enough to recuperate their losses.
Disney really needs to check their budget constraints and learn from its mistakes. There are two more blockbusters coming out this year, unless they decide to push it back, which are The Marvels and Wish, the latter meant for celebration of Disney’s 100th year anniversary. As a fan of Disney, I am sad that this is happening but if this is going to make the company reflect on their choices, especially with the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strikes, then it has to.
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