Woke Disney Tanked at the Box Office for Three Years Straight, But Look What Its Competitor Has Been Doing

How the house that Mickey Mouse built has fallen. Disney, which used to reign as the undisputed feature animation film box office king, now has lost its crown to Universal Studios, based on the box office totals over the last three years. “The Wrap’s” Scott Mendelson noted that Disney releases have grossed just over $1 billion worldwide during the period, while Universal’s animated films have taken in twice as much, $2.06 billion. Universal’s offerings over that time have included such titles as “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” “Trolls: World Tour,” “The Croods: A New Age,” “Spirit Untamed,” “The Boss Baby: Family Business” and “Sing 2.” Meanwhile, Disney and its sister company Pixar have released “Raya and the Last Dragon,” “Encanto,” “Luca,” “Turning Red,” “Lightyear” and “Strange World.” Which of those two slates of movies sounds more fun to see to you? “Lightyear,” from the highly successful “Toy Story” franchise, held great promise, but Disney decided to politicize it by reinserting a lesbian kiss in the production (that reportedly had been removed) as a kind of in-your-face gesture to Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over the Parental Rights in Education bill he signed into law in the spring of 2022. That law stands for the “radical” notion that K-5 students should not be exposed to content about sex and sexual identity, and for older students, it should be age appropriate. [firefly_poll] The City Journal’s Christopher Rufo obtained video from Disney’s all-hands meeting about the parental rights bill last March in which Latoya Raveneau, identified as an executive producer for Disney Television Animation, says the company was very welcoming of her “not-at-all-secret gay agenda.” She expressed joy in the “momentum that I felt, that sense of ‘I don’t have to be afraid to, like, let’s have these two characters kiss in the background.’ I was just, wherever I could, just basically adding queerness,” she said. “No one would stop me, and no one was trying to stop me.” Disney’s very public stance against the very reasonable Parental Rights law and the company’s decision to include the lesbian kiss in “Lightyear” no doubt alienated not only Christian parents, but also many others who think children’s innocence should be protected. Over a dozen countries banned “Lightyear” over the lesbian content, which of course did not help the box office tally. The movie took in just $226 million worldwide, compared to 2019’s “Toy Story 4,” which grossed over $1 billion in ticket sales. Disney followed up this past summer’s “Lightyear” disappointment with the release of “Strange World” at Thanksgiving. “Strange World,” which includes an openly gay teenager, earned just shy of $19 million during its opening 5-day extended weekend, and has taken about $54 million worldwide to date. Variety reported that the film cost $180 million to make and Disney spent tens of millions more to market and distribute it globally, so it’s on track to be a $100 million loser during its theatrical run. Breitbart’s Nick Nolte argued that Disney and Pixar animation have lost their way, forgetting their primary mission is to offer kids good, clean, fun entertainment, not push a radical agenda. “Gee, I wonder what the difference is between ‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’ earning nearly a billion dollars worldwide and ‘Lightyear’s’ $226 million?” he asked. “Oh, I think I know… ‘Minions’ offered laughs, fun, adventure, and escapism, while ‘Lightyear’ focused on a lesbian storyline.” “Parents no longer feel safe leaving their children alone with the Walt Disney Company. Disney is on a propaganda rampage to confuse young children about sexual identity and push this demented trans agenda that destroys people with irreversible hormone treatments and mutilating surgeries,” Nolte added. “I wouldn’t let my kid near these freaks.” The Disney brand is damaged. The company had lost nearly $24 billion in stock market value, Variety reported in November. Disney’s collapse led its board of directors to fire CEO Bob Chapek late last month and bring back former CEO Bob Iger. Iger seems to partly grasp the problem, saying he plans to “quiet things down” on the political front. However, at a recent town-hall-style meeting with Disney employees, Iger was asked about Disney’s commitment to LGBT storytelling going forward, according to The New York Times. “One of the core values of our storytelling is inclusion and acceptance and tolerance, and we can’t lose that,” Iger responded. “We’re not going to make everyone happy all the time, and we’re not going to try to,” he added. “We’re certainly not going to lessen our core values in order to make everyone happy all the time.” In other words, Universal and other studios appear to have more running room to continue to trounce Disney animation at the box office. All they need to do is stick to entertaining kids and keep woke agendas out of their productions. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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