Huge Disney Box Office Flop Is Now Number 1 On Disney+

Disney’s Strange World, which completely bombed at the box office, has risen to No. 1 on Disney+, which could signal a late rise in popularity.

After bombing at the box office, Disney’s Strange World is currently the No. 1 movie on Disney+. Strange World is an animated sci-fi adventure film from Disney that released in theaters on November 23. The film, which features an ensemble cast led by Jake Gyllenhaal and Lucy Liu, was notable for introducing Disney Animation’s first openly LGBTQ+ lead character, Ethan Clade (Jaboukie Young-White). Though the film received generally positive reviews from fans and critics alike for its animation style and much-needed representation milestone, Strange World was a massive flop at the box office, grossing only $18.6 million in its five-day opening weekend, against expectations that it would gross $30 to $40 million, and is estimated to lose Disney at least $100 million.

Despite a disastrous run in theaters, Strange World is currently topping the charts on Disney’s streaming service, Disney+ (via FlixPatrol). The film overtook Encanto at the Hollywood Bowl and Avatar, which have both been trending high in the past week, understandable for the latter considering the recent release of Avatar: The Way of Water. Strange World only hit Disney+ on December 23, but will be closing out 2022 as the No. 1 most-watched movie.

Why Strange World Failed at the Box Office

Despite generally favorable reviews, Strange World had a rough run in theaters, but is now making a stark rise with at-home streaming. However, the film’s box office failure isn’t an anomaly for Disney, but rather the next in a line of relatively unsuccessful Disney animated films. Prior to Strange World came Lightyear in June, which similarly bombed at the box office despite mixed-to-favorable reviews. Many attribute Strange World’s failure to Disney promoting Lightyear so much more, and not giving the sci-fi film enough attention. In fact, many on social media said that they weren’t even aware that Strange World even existed, whereas Lightyear was too heavily promoted.

Another potential reason for the film’s box office flop is the date of its release, which perfectly aligned with the release of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever only two weeks prior. There has also been speculation that the backlash against Strange World’s LGBTQ+ characters could have contributed to the poor performance, particularly after Florida governor Ron DeSantis berated Disney for being a “woke corporation” in March, and encouraged his supporters to boycott all Disney projects. However, it’s unlikely any one cause can be attributed to Strange World’s failure, and instead, it’s a combination of many factors.

Despite being a box office bomb, however, there is potential for Strange World to become massively successful on streaming services. Many viewers compare the film to Encanto, which had an underwhelming premiere in theaters on opening weekend, but managed to become a massive success after buzz from fans, critics, and boosts on social media. With Strange World now available to watch on-demand at home, perhaps the animated film will finally get the attention it deserves.

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Author: APIN KEMBALI

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