It has been a rough time lately for Disney animation. In the past, Disney’s animated features were almost always a guaranteed success, from hits like Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella to more modern tales like Frozen and Encanto. However, the animation studio has been struggling more and more; in the past year, most of its films have underperformed. These include films from Pixar as well, like Turning Red, Lightyear, and the live-action/animated film Pinocchio.
Unfortunately, Disney’s newest animated film, Strange World, is faring even worse than its recent predecessors. Strange World premiered in theaters on November 23, but tanked at the box office over Thanksgiving weekend.
Now, according to a new report from Variety, Strange World is projected to lose at least $100 million at the box office during a time when Disney films have typically performed well.
“Normally this time of year, a Disney family film is the big draw,” says Paul Dergarabedian, a senior Comscore analyst. “It shows we’re still recovering and adapting to the constraints of the pandemic.”
Unless its business rebounds dramatically in the next few weeks (and that seems unlikely given the film’s moderate reviews, lackluster audience reception and minimal buzz), sources estimate that “Strange World” will lose at least $100 million in its theatrical run. Even with proper attention on Disney+ and home entertainment platforms, box office experts suggest it’ll be difficult to get the big-budget film into the black. Since “Strange World” cost $180 million to produce and tens of millions more in global marketing and distribution fees, the film needs to gross roughly $360 million to break even, sources say.
Not only has Strange World not performed well monetarily, but it also received the lowest audience scores a Disney movie has ever received from CinemaScore. Even Disney flops like Chicken Little and The Good Dinosaur received low As. Strange World, on the other hand, only gained a B audience score.
However, it’s always encouraged that fans watch a film regardless of ratings so that they can make their own judgment. Here’s more on Strange World.
Walt Disney Animation Studios’ original action-packed adventure “Strange World” introduces a legendary family of explorers, the Clades, as they attempt to navigate an uncharted, treacherous land alongside a motley crew that includes a mischievous blob, a three-legged dog and a slew of ravenous creatures. The voice cast includes Jake Gyllenhaal as Searcher Clade, a family man who finds himself out of his element on an unpredictable mission; Dennis Quaid as Searcher’s larger-than-life explorer father, Jaeger; Jaboukie Young-White as Searcher’s 16-year-old son, Ethan, who longs for adventure; Gabrielle Union as Meridian Clade, an accomplished pilot and Searcher’s partner in all things; and Lucy Liu as Callisto Mal, Avalonia’s fearless leader who spearheads the exploration into the strange world.
Even though it seems unlikely that Disney will break even with its new movie, there is still some hope for Strange World. That hope lies in Disney’s streaming platform, Disney+. Movie theaters are still struggling since the pandemic, and many people will wait for a movie to be available to stream. At this time, no Disney+ premiere date has been announced for Strange World.
Disney films have been averaging about 45 days in the theater before they head to Disney+, so it is possible Strange World will be streaming early in the new year.