It would appear Disney is losing its ability to attract people on its brand name alone.
According to Bounding Into Comics, Disney has yet another flop on its hands in the form of “Strange World,” the story of a man with a famous father who must go looking for him. The movie has everything required of it by the standards of today’s social justice crowd, but this one also includes a very open gay teen romance that is celebrated by the main character in a very over-the-top fashion.
As Bounding reports, the movie performed miserably over Thanksgiving weekend, bringing in a pathetic $18.6 million. This is a massive failure considering the cash it took to make it:
Not only did the film fail to meet original expectations, but it reportedly has a production budget between $135 million and $180 million. Deadline’s Anthony D’Alessandro reported, “Strange World cost $135M before P&A.” Meanwhile Variety’s Rebecca Rubin reported, “The $180 million-budgeted “Strange World” is poised to be another money loser for Disney.”
That means the film has to make between $335 million and $450 million to break even.
According to an article from Variety, the film was yet another attempt at normalizing LGBT relationships, this time between two teen boys. In the film, the moment is well-received by friends and an over-enthusiastic father:
Walt Disney screened three sequences from “Strange World.” In the first, Ethan flirts with heartthrob Diazo while friends from school look on, teasing in a friendly and warm-hearted way. Much to Ethan’s chagrin, his dad Searcher soon joins in, embarrassing his son with an overeager show of acceptance.
It could be said that the lack of advertising for this film is probably what caused it to bomb. Indeed, Disney seemed to put little to no effort into making sure you knew the film was there to see, and many of you probably didn’t even know Disney had a new film out.
However, it’s a wonder if anyone would have gone to see it if there was advertising for it regardless. It certainly would have boosted the numbers a little, but probably not enough to stop it from being the flop it was. The question is: Did Disney know it was going to be a flop before it even came out.
Some clues point to yes as Bounding quotes film critic “OMB Reviews,” who noted that Disney seemed to slip this movie in quietly, LGBT promotion and all, while noise was being made by everything else around it.
“Even if that [gay son] wasn’t a part of the story the fact is that this is a film that is featuring a brand new original, somewhat original story, coming out over Thanksgiving weekend up against the third weekend of Black Panther. It’s almost as if Disney wanted this film to do poorly.”
The question then is: Why did Disney release this movie in the first place if they knew it was going to be so bad? The company used to be one of quality and innovation, but it’s now replaced those virtues with virtue signaling. This is what is considered to be on the cutting edge of entertainment now.
Yet, they purposefully allowed this movie to release when it would have definitely made the fewest waves. Did Disney do it because they wanted to avoid what would clearly be another massive wave of backlash for attempting to push an agenda on people’s children? If so, this has some interesting implications for Disney’s direction going forward.
We might never get the answer from Disney as to the reason behind this clearly calculated move, but regardless of the answer, none of this looks good for Disney. Not only did they release a flop, but they also plugged in another LGBT scene, and this is only going to make parents dislike them more. It should also be noted that slapping the Disney label on the film wasn’t enough to entice many who had heard about it to see it.
Disney is sinking, and sinking quickly.