Is the “WOKE Agenda” to Blame For Disney’s Summer of Box Office Flops?

elemental, the haunted mansion, indiana jones, too woke
Credit: Disney, Canva

Making money at the box office is harder than ever nowadays. Not too long ago, we were stuck at home, glued to our couches, itching to return to normalcy.

But during that time, we learned as a culture that we just…don’t have to go to the movies anymore. With streaming services, we can easily wait for a film to become available digitally or on our preferred platform instead of visiting the movie theaters.

In fact, it’s becoming a bit of a dying art to visit the movie theater! After all, audiences aren’t too keen on spending too much money for a ticket and a couple of snacks, only to sit in an unfamiliar room without the comfort of a pause button.

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Credit: Brian McGowan on Unsplash

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No Pee Breaks, No Thank You! We Just Don’t Like Going to the Movies Anymore

Not to mention that visiting the movies isn’t as safe as it used to be. At least, we, as a culture, feel that way. The pandemic made a majority of us uncomfortable with the idea of other people’s germs, and hyperaware of the spread of any sicknesses.

It’s also worth mentioning that gun violence in the United States is incredibly prevalent, which makes the idea of sitting in an enclosed space and letting one’s guard down for a few hours amidst a huge group of strangers a bit…unpleasant.

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Credit: Brian McGowan on Unsplash

READ MORE: Disney’s “Woke” Film Ideology Cost the Studios Nearly $300 Million at the Box Office

Some Movies Continue to Thrive Despite These Challenges!

Despite these challenges, some films managed to pull through at the box office, becoming cultural touchstones to boot! Movies such as Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (2023), Barbie (2023), and Oppenheimer (2023) made it big amongst audiences.

…Are you noticing a pattern? Not one of the movies listed were Disney films. But why is that? Is ‘wokeness’ really to blame? It may be!

Credit: Marvel, Sony

READ MORE: Another Walt Disney World Offering Falls Victim to The “WOKE” Agenda

The Walt Disney Company Wants to Be Remembered on the Right Side of History…Even as History Is Still Unfolding…

It’s no secret that one of the Walt Disney Company’s biggest priorities is public relations. As a result, Disney wants to stay on the correct side of history at all times.

Everybody has noticed the pattern of Disney movies becoming less traditional, more inclusive, and more forward-thinking. Sometimes, even to a fault, as with the upcoming Snow White adaptation. But is this what’s really hurting Disney at the box office?

According to a report by Fox News, Disney’s summer of box office flops has nothing but the “woke agenda” to blame.

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Credit: Disney

READ MORE: Haunted Mansion…Dead On Arrival

Does the Walt Disney Company Have Nothing But Wokeness to Blame?

In May, The Little Mermaid swam into theaters, earning $297 million domestically, which isn’t a failure by any means. Internationally, however, the live-action remake only made a measly $267 million. Given its budget of $250 million, this is…underwhelming. Fox News compares this to The Lion King (2019), which made $1.6 billion worldwide with only a $260 million budget.

Then, in June, Disney Pixar’s Elemental (2023) made its way into theaters. With a budget of $200 million, this film only made $150 million domestically and $425 million worldwide. Fox News compares this release to the release of Inside Out in 2015, which earned over $1.2 billion overall.

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Credit: Disney

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Some Movies Did Well…Others Did…Worse…

At the end of June, Disney released Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023), which has yet to reach $200 million domestically, nor $400 million internationally, which makes us wonder if the film will earn back the whopping $300 million budget costs. Fox News points out that Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) made over $300 domestically and almost $800 million worldwide with a much smaller budget.

Lastly, Disney released a Haunted Mansion (2023) film this summer, earning a measly $46 million domestically and under $70 million internationally in its first two weeks in theaters.

It’s worth noting that Fox News is making comparisons to movie releases from an entirely different time: the pre-pandemic, and in some cases, pre-streaming era.

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Credit: Brian McGowan

READ MORE: Disney’s Live-Action ‘Little Mermaid’ Film Reaches Groundbreaking New Record

These Comparisons Aren’t Entirely Fair!

Even if the movies being released are too ‘woke’ for the conservative audience, can we really blame being politically correct for the reasoning behind these flops? There’s a lot of factors being left out, if that’s the case!

For one, Disney and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s feud has led to the conservative crowd avoiding Disney movies out of principle. For another, Disney is alienating its own audiences right alongside them as the company continues to churn out low effort live-action remakes and sequel after sequel despite audiences’ vocal distaste for the lack of originality.

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Credit: Luke Tanis on Unsplash

READ MORE: The REAL Reason ‘The Little Mermaid’ is Floundering

When It Comes Down to It, Can We Place the Blame Solely on Wokeness?

More than likely, the biggest reason for Disney’s summer of box office flops is a deadly combination of the newfound cultural indifference towards movie theaters alongside the alienation of multiple audiences.

Now, as the Writers Guild and Actors Guild strikes continue, the Walt Disney Company’s movie-making days are temporarily over, with dozens of projects simply dead in the water. Where will Disney go from here? Unfortunately, we’ll simply have to wait and see.

About Isabella Reimer

Isabella Reimer grew up visiting Walt Disney World and relocated to Central Florida to be even closer to The Most Magical Place on Earth. She earned her Bachelor’s from Florida State University, where she studied Creative Writing and Women’s Studies. Her biggest hobby is bonding with the ikran at Avatar Flight of Passage, and her retirement plan includes becoming the 1,000 Happy Haunt of the Haunted Mansion.