Strange World Could Lose Up To $100 Million At The Box Office

Credit: Strange World

2022 Has Been Rough For Disney Animation

2022 hasn’t been kind to Disney. Back in June, the studio released their Toy Story spin-off, Lightyear, and it was surprisingly a flop for the house of mouse. Toy Story 3 and Toy Story 4 both made over $1 billion at the box office, so the overall brand was still hot back in 2019. There were several key factors that resulted in audiences’ lack of interest in the film: From the baffling decision not to recast Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear or the promotion not making it clear what exactly Lightyear was to even the LGBTQ+ moment within the film, Lightyear was a flop that many did see coming opening weekend. Still, Lightyear managed to garner $51 million in its opening weekend and ended its theatrical run with an underwhelming $226.4 million. Strange World would be lucky even to get a fraction of that amount.

The latest Disney feature was dead on arrival. Originally, projections saw that the film would open the five-day weekend with $40 million plus; however, the opening previews saw Strange World only collect $800,000, making $40 million the best-case scenario. Last year, Encanto came out during the same holiday weekend and opened with $40.3 million, which paled in comparison to their last Thanksgiving release, Frozen II, which came out guns blazing with $123.7 million.

Reasons Strange World Bombed At The Box Office

Encanto would eventually find its success on Disney+, but the same might not likely happen for Strange World. One of the most notable things is that Disney barely advertised the film. It’s not known how much went into the promotion of Strange World, but the film was relatively quiet throughout the fall season, which is odd given its $180 million price tag. Likely, Disney knew that Strange World would be a flop from the offset and opted to barely promote this film so it wouldn’t be such a huge loss.

Credit: Strange World

Encanto found its success on Disney Plus, and Soul and Turning Red did solid business for the streaming service as well, so, oddly, Disney didn’t simply put Strange World directly onto Disney Plus if they felt it would be a flop. To barely advertise a big-budget film makes no sense. Perhaps if Disney actually put some genuine effort into promoting the feature, it would’ve gotten more than $18.1 million during its opening weekend. Strange World will reportedly lose over $100 million as it’s clear that the animated film will bomb at the box office.

However, it isn’t just the fact that Strange World was barely advertised, as the reception is very lukewarm overall. The best reviews say that Strange World is decent at best. Word of mouth plays a huge factor in moviegoers checking out a film; after all, movies like Avatar, Avengers: Endgame, and Top Gun: Maverick did huge box office numbers because of repeat viewings.

Credit: Strange World

Disney Needs To Reevaluate Their Animated Films

Given the landscape of streaming that offers plenty of kiddie content, Strange World didn’t seem worth the ticket purchase. Unfortunately, its numbers won’t get any better overseas. Deadline first reported that about 20 international markets would not release the film; Some of these territories include China, the Middle East, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, and Vietnam. There’s a gay romance that plays an important role in the plot, and Disney doubled down by not cutting any of it. Strange World only made $9.2 million overseas. So what’s next for Disney? The studio just had a huge shift in leadership as the returning Bob Iger has replaced Bob Chapek. There’s no word on what the future holds for Disney animation and whether changes will be made to the department; however, Disney would be wise to reevaluate why their animated films aren’t making the money they did 3 years ago.

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