Disney Suffers Yet Another Disappointment as ‘Wish’ Fumbles Expected Box Office Win

Disney Suffers Yet Another Disappointment as ‘Wish’ Fumbles Expected Box Office Win

To say that The Walt Disney Company is having a bit of a rough stretch would be a gross understatement.

Public sentiment is at a seeming all-time low, the company is hemorrhaging money and jobs, and the theme parks are becoming their own unique headache.

One might assume that, for a company whose entire media empire began with film, Disney could re-calibrate and find some success in its film division. But recent evidence suggests that would be a mighty faulty assumption.

The latest ominous example of this comes from Disney’s newest animated film, “Wish.”

The movie, whose marketing largely appeared to leave fans confused, stumbled out of the gates when it debuted over Thanksgiving week — leading the film to come up short of even its own low expectations.

Per Variety, “Wish” debuted to a paltry “$19.5 million over the traditional weekend and $31.7 million over the five days.”

Those numbers clearly fall short of the expected “$35 million over the traditional weekend and $45 million to $50 million in its first five days of release” that the film was projecting to do.

Both respective figures fall well short of the projected earning total, which is particularly alarming given that Variety is reporting that “Wish” carries a $200 million production budget — the sort of hefty price tag that other studios are prudently avoiding these days.


For Disney to see any sort of return on that investment, it will need “Wish” to pick things up both domestically and abroad, where the film’s international release has helped push the film’s global box office receipts to about $49 million.

The issue for Disney, however, isn’t so much that “Wish” has flopped out of the gate, given that even the most venerable movie studios occasionally miss.

No, the issue for Disney is rooted in the fact that “Wish” is the latest in a long line of fiscal failures.

From iconic legacy franchises, like “Indiana Jones,” to more ubiquitous superhero trappings, like “The Marvels,” Disney has been swinging and missing on wildly expensive projects.

In fact, apart from the sequel Marvel film “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” Disney genuinely hasn’t had an impactful or enduring hit of a film debut this year, and it’s certainly not for a lack of trying.

In fact, Disney’s 2023 is littered with the corpses of failed, but highly hyped, projects apart from the aforementioned “Indiana Jones” and “The Marvels.”

Films like the live-action “The Little Mermaid” and the newest “Ant-Man” flick, despite being linked to some of Disney’s most storied properties, both came and went with more whimper than bang.

And that’s just this year alone.

For Disney, their recent struggles will likely require some inward introspection because other studios are humming along relatively smoothly at the moment.

Per Variety, “Wish” finished third at the box office over the Thanksgiving break, finishing behind Lionsgate’s “The Hunger Games” prequel, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” and Ridley Scott’s dramatized biopic, “Napoleon.”

“The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” debuted last week and held onto its top spot at the box office, while the rated-R “Napoleon” opened up to second place at the box office.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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