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'Strange World' is third consecutive 'DisneyWoke' flop

Disney's latest film only grossed $11.9 million in its first weekend well below the $40 million expected by the company.

Fotograma 'Strange World'

(Walt Disney Studios)

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Disney continues to go downhill. In addition to the company's problems in general, with the change of CEO and its poor financial results, Disney’s most recent failed venture is at the box office. Strange World, the company's latest animated film only grossed $11.9 million in its first weekend. This figure increases slightly to $18.9 million over the five-day Thanksgiving weekend.

These figures are much lower than what the company expected to obtain with their newest release, which is the first to be focused around a homosexual romance as the central theme. Disney planned to raise between $30 million and $40 million over Thanksgiving. The box office remains, for the moment, far below the $180 million it cost the entertainment company to produce this film.

Disney animated films do not gross as much as they used to

Although the results are not great, they’re not too different from the numbers the company brought in with its most recent animated films, which were more widely accepted by the American public. Encanto, the 2021 film centered on the Latino Madrigal family, grossed $27 million during its opening weekend and $40 million over Thanksgiving weekend. Lightyear grossed $51 million during its first weekend. Paul Dergarabedian, senior analyst at Comscore, explained to Variety that these results are not too worrisome: "Normally this time of year, a Disney family film is the big draw. It shows we’re still recovering and adapting to the constraints of the pandemic."

However, David A. Gross, director of the film consultancy Franchise Entertainment Research, assured Variety that this is not a good number for Disney: "This is a weak opening by Disney animation standards. At a cost of $180 million, plus marketing expenses, the film will finish in the red, even with good ancillary income."

Strange World should gross $360 million in domestic box office alone, but it won't even reach $100 million. According to rival studios, the company will be lucky to reach $45 million by the time it leaves theaters. Charm earned $96 million in North America and Lightyear finished its theatrical run with $118 million.

Bob Iger blames Chapek for "killing the soul of the company"

This is just the latest problem in a long list that Disney is dealing with. The company has been facing losses for quite some time and Bob Iger, the company's CEO, already knows who to blame: Bob Chapek.

According to what a close friend of Iger told The Wall Street Journal, Bob Chapek was responsible for "killing the soul of the company.” According to the executive who is returning to the company two years later to replace Chapek, the former CEO had focused his efforts on promoting Disney+ instead of strengthening what truly drives revenue for the company: Disneyland and Disney World. Primarily, this source told the newspaper, Iger was concerned about rising prices at theme parks. In fact, he even received calls from creative executives upset with Chapek not only because of the parks' prices, but also because, according to them, the former CEO was not paying attention to cable television either.

Iger was not the only one against Chapek. According to The Wall Street Journal another person who encouraged Iger's return was the company's CFO, Christine McCarthy. She expressed on several occasions her distrust toward Chapek, whom she said "irretrievably lost the room.”