Over the past decade, Disney has always been considered the king of the box office game with a series of blockbusters underpinned by key studios like Marvel, Lucasfilm and Pixar. However, this year, Disney’s lead at the box office is gradually revealing cracks as four big-budget movies all have difficulty with revenue problems – something that perhaps Disney has never seen before. to worry about before.
Disney’s unstoppable decline
The first disappointing launch to mention is Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. This is a rare Marvel movie that is likely to lose tens of millions of dollars after it hits theaters. The film was a disappointment not only to the mass audience but also to the fans of the Marvel superhero series.
Next, the movie that is expected to become a blockbuster is Mermaid live-action version. However, after its release, the film still did not achieve the expected revenue, even potentially suffering a loss. Elemental of Pixar tried to recoup Disney’s money but again failed. Most recentIndiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny With an investment of up to nearly 300 million USD, it seems that it no longer retains the audience as before. It is worth mentioning that this series is one of the most respected series on the screen but also failed to attract new audiences.
“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” was mercilessly criticized by the audience. (Photo: Marvel)
Despite the promotion, the new version of “The Little Mermaid” was still a disappointment at the international box office. (Photo: Disney)
In theory, all of the films mentioned above seem to have all the elements to create a resounding success. However, the reality is The box office failure shows that Disney needs to rethink how it operates to fill the void in movie theaters.
According to Variety, Disney’s most anticipated movie this year could be Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3 with $835 million. This will be the first time since 2014 that Disney has not had a movie hit the $1 billion mark (excluding the two years of the pandemic 2020 and 2021). Meanwhile, in 2022, Disney earned a series of box office blockbusters such as Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and most notably Avatar: The Way of Water – 3rd highest grossing film of all time. In particular, in 2019, Disney once set a record with 7 films surpassing the $1 billion mark.
What causes consecutive box office failures?
So what led to this failure? Talking about movie content, recent Disney movies have not received too positive reviews. New films are considered unremarkable. Especially with the latest part of Ant-Mancritics even gave bad reviews and questioned whether the film was really necessary for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Variety also pointed to a few other issues raging Disney and its Magic Kingdom this year. One of them is the budget for the movies. Because of the holistic strategy that applies to every movie, each Disney project requires a production budget of at least $200 million, along with a promotional cost of around $100 million.
That means Disney movies have a higher starting point than their competitors to break even at the box office. In the past, these budgets were reasonable for films to cross the $1 billion mark easily. But at the moment, the risk becomes higher as the Chinese market is no longer a guarantee for box office revenue.
The problem is that this cost control will take a while to change. Big movies take at least 3-4 years to develop, produce and release. Even if Disney really thinks about “austerity,” it won’t make any noticeable difference at least until 2026.
Disney movies are expensive to produce. (Photo: Disney)
In addition, the tastes of the audience have changed. That’s what Disney is forced to see. 10 years have passed, the audience is no longer the audience of 10 years ago. If Disney continues in the direction of commercial movies and pushes movies with repetitive content, Disney will surely fail even more.
To be fair, every studio is grappling with these harsh realities as box office receipts are down about 20% from pre-pandemic levels. However, Disney has historically been the reigning king for many years, and a collapse like this has caused great anxiety among industry insiders. All of the company’s problems seriously affect the entire film industry today and this is the crisis reality that everyone needs to recognize.
Either way, Disney can still afford to lose its movies for now because it’s still a huge company. In addition, box office revenue is not Disney’s only revenue. The movies are designed to increase audience interest in toys and amusement park types. That is why, although Mermaid did not pass the $500 million mark, but the return of the Ariel character also helped Disney make a lot of money with the toys it launched.