As we have said before, every time there are signs of life at the box office, something to get producers excited, then the next set of numbers come in and it feels like it is all back to square one again. Disney have been feeling that this week with Strange World looking like it is going to crater.
Remember when a new animated Disney movie was an event? When the name over the door meant a mark of good, wholesome entertainment with a level of guaranteed quality, and box office followed? What could possibly have happened to turn audiences away?
This is another animated bomb for them, following Lightyear. Strange World had a $180 million budget but pulled in just $4.2 million on Wednesday, with tracking on its five-day haul now below $24 million.
For context, that is around half of the take for Encanto last year and that was seen as soft at the time.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will blunt the pain a little, with tracking showing an estimated $63 million incoming over the five-day period.
It is another, all-round grim report out there for theaters in general. Sony’s fighter pilot drama Devotion came in under $2 million for the Wednesday, while the Timothee Chalamet-led Bones and All didn’t even break $1 million. They are both tracking well below expectations. Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans pulled in just $400,000 on Wednesday.
The overall box office is looking like being 10% down from last year and 50% down from pre-pandemic levels. This remains grim reading for anyone not called Marvel.
Over to you, James Cameron.