- The latest film from Walt Disney Animation Studios, Strange World, has opened in theaters everywhere, reportedly to disastrous results.
- The film, which cost a reported $180 million to produce and millions more in global marketing and distribution fees, only pulled in about $18.6 million after the extended holiday weekend, according to analysts based on reports from 4,174 theaters where the film opened.
- The ticket sales for the film leave Strange World as one of the worst openings for the studio in the modern era, and significantly less than recent animated fare, like Encanto, and even the under-performing Pixar film, Lightyear.
- Strange World is set to lose over $100 million per sources, and even a release on Disney+ wouldn’t recoup the massive budget for the film, which is said to need to gross roughly $360 million to break even.
- Overseas grosses will likely not help Strange World. The film was similarly jilted at the international box office with $9.2 million from 43 markets. Like most films, it won’t play in China or Russia, two major international markets, due to geopolitical tensions. Disney also opted to not submit Strange World in certain markets, including the entire Middle East, Malaysia and Indonesia, because the movie features a gay character. Films with LGBTQ references have been regularly targeted by censors in those territories and the studio wasn’t willing to cut out parts of the movie to comply.
- It was Marvel’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever that ruled the box office over the weekend, adding $64 Million, or roughly three Strange World debuts to its already sizable total, increasing it to $367 million in North America alone and over $670 million globally.
- Some analysts echo the thoughts of animation fans and even some in the industry, pointing to the studio’s trend of releasing fare like Pixar’s Soul, Luca, Turning Red and Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon, directly to Disney+ (even Encanto didn’t find massive success until its streaming debut) saying that the studio hasn’t properly reacquainted those audiences with theatrical releases. Many believe the studio may have inadvertently conditioned families to watch new movies at home instead of paying box office prices at their local cineplex.
- 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 also includes Dennis Quaid as Searcher’s larger-than-life explorer father, Jaeger; and Lucy Liu as Callisto Mal, Avalonia’s fearless leader who spearheads the exploration into the strange world. Helmed by Don Hall (Oscar-winning Big Hero 6, Raya and the Last Dragon) and co-director/writer Qui Nguyen (co-writer Raya and the Last Dragon) and produced by Roy Conli (Oscar-winning Big Hero 6, Tangled).