Disney has had a rough time at the box office over the past year. Poor numbers with Elemental (2023), Lightyear (2022), and others have caused the studio to lose hundreds of millions with each film. This unfortunate trend for Walt Disney Studios seems to be staying on track with the new movie Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023). In fact, the film may cost the studio another hundred million, bringing Disney’s total to over a $1 billion loss at the box office.
A Year of Flops
Beginning with Lightyear (2022), Walt Disney Studios has yet to turn a profit with any movie they’ve released over the past eight films.
The list includes Lightyear (2022), Thor Love and Thunder (2022), Strange World (2022), Black Panther Wakanda Forever (2022), Ant-Man and the Wasp Quantumania (2023), Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 3 (2023), The Little Mermaid (2023), and Elemental (2023).
The cost of all eight films, including production, marketing, and distribution, is around $2.75 billion. However, the total amount the films have brought in is $1.86 billion. That comes to roughly an overall loss of $890 million…
However, as bad as that figure is and as much as it should make Disney CEO Bob Iger nervous, it’s about to get much worse.
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023)
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023) has been reported to cost nearly $300 million (other media outlets have claimed numbers closer to $320 million). However, the fifth Indiana Jones movie’s performance at the box office this past weekend is lower than the lowest prediction. The film starring Harrison Ford will make about $60 million domestically over the long 4th of July weekend. Although it may sound like a lot, it’s slightly over half of what the last Indiana Jones franchise film, Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull (2008), pulled in 15 years ago. And that’s not counting inflation or the rise in ticket prices since 2008. It seems like Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023) will be another box office flop for Disney when all is said and done. And unless there’s a sudden surge of interest in the next week or two, it seems likely that this 9th box office bomb for Disney will put them at over a $1 billion loss in theatrical releases.
And just to put that in theme Park language – $1 billion is the approximate budget Universal Studios is using to build Epic Universe (and the amount Disney spent to make Animal Kingdom).
Unfortunately, Disney movies seem to be losing appeal among the general public. Even some hardcore Disney fans are failing to show up in the theaters for one reason or another. It’s unclear what direction the studio will take going forward, but they must do something fast. Losing $1 billion annually is unsustainable, even for a massive media giant like the Walt Disney Company.