The film kicked off with $60.4 million at the domestic box office opening weekend, which came in under industry projections. In early June, one report had the fifth Indiana Jones film grossing as high as $111 million on opening weekend.
Released four days later, Angel Studios' surprising hit film, Sound of Freedom, has grossed more than Indiana Jones 5, something no one (especially Disney) saw coming.
Indiana Jones 5 Is a Financial Failure
As Variety recently noted, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny could lose Lucasfilm and Disney close to $100 million based on its theatrical run.
Indiana Jones 5's massive $300 million production budget (not including an additional estimated $100 million in promotion) has led to the downfall of Indy's return to theaters.
To date, Dial of Destiny has only earned $375.4 million at the worldwide box office, now just the 13th-highest-grossing film of 2023.
Based on the incredibly expensive cost, Lucasfilm had a lot of faith in Harrison Ford and the name-brand recognition of the franchise, which previously has been a box office darling.
Indiana Jones' Box Office Downfall
When Indiana Jones returned in 2008, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was an enormous box office success, opening to over $100 million domestically.
While it may be the least-liked film in the franchise, Indiana Jones 4 earned $786.6 million worldwide, making it the highest-earning installment of the franchise.
Back in 1981, when it all began with Raiders of the Lost Ark, the new Steven Spielberg film played in theaters for over a year, earning $212.2 at the domestic box office; it was an absolute triumph off of a $20 million budget.
Sequels Temple of Doom and Last Crusade were also successes in 1984 and 1989, respectively. Doom earned $179.9 million at the domestic box office during its original release, and Crusade followed up with $197.2 million.
Factoring in all re-releases and international distribution, here's how the Indiana Jones films rank in terms of worldwide box office gross:
- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - $786.6 million
- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade - $474.2 million
- Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny - $370.8 million
- Raiders of the Lost Ark - $367.5 million
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom - $333 million
Then, compare those box office earnings to the estimated production budgets. Note how the investment into these films ballooned significantly when created in the 21st century:
- Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny - $300 million
- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - $185 million
- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade - $48 million
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom - $28 million
- Raiders of the Lost Ark - $20 million
All four prior Indiana Jones films were a good investment, but Dial of Destiny hasn't lived up to the expectations that Disney set.
There's still some room for Indy 5 to make money, considering its earnings post-theaters with digital purchases, merchandise, and streaming deals.
However, it's an upward battle to break even at this point, something Lucasfilm didn't anticipate when it greenlit Harrison Ford's epic return to the character.
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is available to preorder for purchase digitally on Tuesday, August 29.