Disney just endured its biggest box office flop of 2022 with its most recent animated release.
Despite Marvel Studios taking hits from fans and critics for films like Thor: Love and Thunder, Disney still made a relatively healthy profit. The same happened for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, but the animation studios took the brunt of profit losses.
Many expected Pixar's Lightyear to lose the Mouse money, but an estimated $106 million loss for the entertainment conglomerate had to hurt. Unfortunately, expectations were even worse for Disney's Strange World, especially when it received the worst audience score in the animation studio's history.
So, it isn't surprising that it was just crowned the box office flop of 2022.
Disney's Strange World Is A Major Box Office Flop
According to Deadline, Strange World was the biggest box office bomb of 2022 and lost Disney an estimated $152.4 million in total after deducting the revenue of $165 million from its $317.4 million expenses.
For comparison, these were the other losers at the box office in 2022:
- Amsterdam - $108.4 million
- Lightyear - $106 million
- Devotion - $89.2 million
- Babylon - $87.4 million
Strange World has nearly a $50 million lead in losses from second place, Amsterdam, another Disney film with Lightyear a little under $3 million behind. Although, Strange World doesn't compare to the box office disaster of Mortal Engines in 2018, which cost Universal Pictures $174.8 million in losses.
Although looking into the expenses for Strange World, it's shocking to see that the marketing budget for the film was $90 million, which certainly didn't feel like it had any effect on general audiences considering its pitiable opening three-day weekend of $12.2 million.
This box office bomb is likely the cause of Disney piling on more sequels in the coming years.
Will Disney Change Their Animation Strategy?
Considering this was an original IP from Walt Disney Animation Studios that bombed so horribly, it wasn't surprising to see the company announce a slew of sequels like Frozen 3, Toy Story 5, and Zootopia 2 to save face with investors. However, Disney and Pixar still have a handful of original films to release before the wave of sequels.
Pixar will release Elemental on June 16, and the studio is continuing development on Elio, which is set to release on March 1, 2024. Then it's back to sequels beginning with Inside Out 2 on June 14, 2024. As for Disney, while only one original IP is in its pipeline, Wish is still planned to release on November 22.
So, fans will have to settle for sequels from both studios for possibly a span of two years beginning in 2024. Hopefully, they'll put more thought and dedication into them than they did in Lightyear and Strange World.
The next animated film from Disney will be Pixar's Elemental, releasing in theaters on June 16.