Disney looks set to have another flop on its hands, as the animated adventure Strange World proves a dud at the box office as moviegoers criticize the movie for what they see as forcing progressive ideology in a children’s movie.
The cartoon, starring a voice cast including Jake Gylenhaal, Dennis Quaid, Gabrielle Union, Lucy Liu, and also features Daily Show contributor Jaboukie Young-White as the voice of what’s been heralded as Disney’s first openly gay character.
Strange World looks set to not even clear $20 million at the Thanksgiving weekend box office on a gargantuan budget of $120-130 million.
It may even finish below the studio’s 2002 flop Treasure Planet, which grossed just $16.6 million.
The film also appears to have tanked with audiences despite mildly positive critical reactions.
Disney looks set to have another flop on its hands, as the animated adventure Strange World looks set to be a dud at the box office as moviegoers criticize the movie for what they see as forcing progressive ideology in a childrens’ movie
The cartoon, starring a voice cast including Jake Gylenhaal, Dennis Quaid, Gabrielle Union, Lucy Liu, and also features Daily Show contributor Jaboukie Young-White as the voice of what’s been heralded as Disney’s first openly gay character
While the movie has a 73 percent critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s only 60 percent with audiences and the film has a ‘B’ rating on CinemaScore from opening day audiences, according to The Wrap.
If that grade holds, the film will be the first Disney animated film to get below an A-minus.
Many have used the box office numbers to cite this as an example of Disney’s attempt to ‘go woke, get broke.’
A Rotten Tomatoes reviewer wrote: ‘If I want to teach my children about sex and or sexual preferences at 7 and 8 I would do it in my home. I don’t need a Disney movie to help me out with it. STOP making everything sexual, its unbelievable.’
One Tweeter pointed out: ‘First Lightyear and now Strange World. Disney and Pixar releasing woke flops, one after the other. How many box office bombs before Disney learns?’
Lightyear, which depicts the origins of beloved Toy Story character Buzz Lightyear, flopped on its opening weekend in the United States, earning just $51.7 million after weeks of controversy over a lesbian kiss.
Patrick Bet-David wrote: ‘Took the kids to the movies today to watch a Disney cartoon called Strange World. Within 10 minutes of the movie, my 10 year old son said ‘Dad, I have no desire to watch this movie. Can we leave?’ We left. The leaders at Disney have forgotten who the PAYING customer is.’
Another wrote that Strange World ‘overpromised and underperformed at the box office, during Thanksgiving holiday releases. They should’ve posted record sales, but totally bombed. Disney again proved that Woke= Broke!’
Eric July added: ‘Disney’s new movie, Strange World is flopping at the box office. Mainstream creatives don’t care about these projects being successful as long as they spite the audience and their ideological enemies.
One self-identified Democrat film reviewer, however, said the problem was on Disney and outgoing CEO Bob Chapek.
Jordan Woodson wrote: ‘Disney is 100% going to blame STRANGE WORLD’s inevitable bad box office on the fact that there’s an openly gay character in the movie when in reality, it’s going to flop because they didn’t market it at all. They’ll use this as an excuse to not have queer rep ever again.’
Abigail Disney, a major shareholder of Disney and relative of Walt Disney, gave a damning verdict on Chapek’s time as CEO in an interview with Time, repeatedly calling him a ‘rookie.’
Disney said: ‘He made a lot of rookie mistakes right out of the gate and then he made a whole series of rookie mistakes all along through his tenure. I don’t think he ever moved out of rookie mistake territory.’
She continued: ‘The bottom line is that this was very poor succession planning and the onus of that has to land squarely on Bob Iger’s shoulders as well as the shoulders of the board of directors.’
Meanwhile, a former Disney executive told the FT: ‘Iger never forgave Chapek for the way Chapek distanced himself and took control of the company. In some ways, Iger thought he would still be the coach. Chapek was not willing.’
Bob Iger came out of retirement to retake the reins at Disney last Sunday
The company’s poor performance under Chapek has been blamed on factors ranging from an unsuccessful pivot to the streaming sphere with Disney+, and his hesitation to speak out against a Florida bill that banned LGBTQ discussions for students younger than 10
Her indictment echoes allegations that Iger allegedly made about Chapek. Business Insider reported this week that Iger referred to his successor as a ‘novice.’
Following his return to the role, Iger is being paid $27 million, with $25 million of that represented in stock options.
In 2021, Iger was paid $45.9 million in his role as executive chairman.
Tom Gosling, an executive fellow at the London Business School, said of the deal: ‘Essentially he’s taken a pay cut of 40 percent. . . to come back. He must love the job, love the company or see a lot of upside in the share price. Maybe all three.’
The regulatory filing showed Chapek, who was named as CEO in February 2020, was paid $32.5 million in 2021. According to Bloomberg, Chapek could walk away with a golden handshake worth over $23 million.
Earlier this week, it was reported that Chapek was fired after receiving several internal complaints from senior staff that the executive was running the company into the ground.