Friday, May 24, 2024

UPDATE: Disney Struggles with Live Action Movies as “Dumbo” Disappoints with $45 Mil Weekend, Far Below Expectations


UPDATE SUNDAY: “Dumbo” earned just $45 million over the weekend, far below expectations.

EARLIER: It was only a few months ago that Disney crash landed “Nutcracker and the Four Realms” at the box office. A monumental failure, “Nutcracker” was a live action film that took in just $54 million in the US, $173 million worldwide.

Now “Dumbo,” the live action version of the famed animated film, is a dismal disappointment at the box office. It made just $15 million on Friday including $2 mil Thurs previews.

“Aladdin” comes next on May 24, with some very bad buzz and poor reaction to its trailers and posters.

But this is Disney, number 1 in the market. But it’s number 1 thanks to Marvel, Pixar, and LucasFilms. And Disney animation. But when it comes to making movies with people, for some reason Disney stumbles. This was certainly demonstrated with “Mary Poppins Returns,” which was not the blockbuster everyone hoped for.

Disney has closed its deal to buy 20th Century Fox now, so maybe those films and filmmakers will cure the problem. Certainly Fox Searchlight will provide them with indie hits. But Disney immediately shut down Fox 2000, which would have filled the void they have in big studio comedies and dramas.

Coming next after “Aladdin” is the live action “Lion King.” But that’s already caused consternation as it seems to be a frame by frame retelling of the animated film and not a whole new take. We’ll cross our paws and hope for the best!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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