Walt Disney Animation Studios' newest release Strange World failed to make an impact at the box office this Thanksgiving weekend. Industry insiders claim that the markedly poor performance of the film is the result of lackluster marketing strategies.
Strange World was predicted to open over a $30 to $40 million weekend with the film releasing in 4,174 North American theaters. Even the international box office reports have been less than satisfactory, earning only $9.2 million. It is now reported that the film has pulled in a disappointing $18.6 million domestically, thereby bringing the total for the opening weekend to $27.8 million. This is a fairly lukewarm response given Strange World is a film from the studio that has been a consistent draw at the box office. It is highly unlikely that with a $180 million budget, Strange World will be able to recover in the following weeks, past a five-days Thanksgiving release, reports Variety.
Strange World's disastrous opening weekend also marks one of the weakest Disney releases in a second consecutive year, barely moving past last year's release, Steven Spielberg's remake of West Side Story, which managed to pull in around $10.5 million over the opening weekend in December 2021. But Strange World will cost Disney around $180 million in production budget alone if does not recover in the upcoming weeks. This failure comes right after Pixar's Lightyear, a film which based on the titular character from the widely popular Toy Story franchise and marked Pixar's return to movie theatre, released earlier this year to a gross of $226 million against a $200 million budget.
Several industry insiders pointed out that the poor performance of Strange World is mainly due to Disney's disastrous marketing strategies. There was little to no promotion available on the film in the leadup to its release. Strange World stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Lucy Liu, and Dennis Quaid, and also features an openly gay character played by Jaboukie Young-White.