Saturday, May 18, 2024

Disney Hubris Comes Knocking as Both New Marvel and Animation Movies Widely Panned, Box Office Dissolves


After a long, glorious run, Disney is in trouble this month.

The company has long counted on Marvel and animation to save them at the box office. The result was a real sense of hubris as the company got cockier and cockier.

But now the cows, you might say, have come home to roost.

Disney’s latest animated film for the holidays, “Wish,” is being panned right now on Rotten Tomatoes. Even the “fresh” tomato reviews say it’s not good, and you do wonder about all that. But the “rotten” tomatoes are very negative. “Wish” is not looking like a strong box office contender.

At the same time, “The Marvels” is a box office disaster. With a reported cost of $275 million, “The Marvels” has made about $54 million in one week. The bottom will drop out tonight. Already the lowest opening weekend for Marvel last week, “The Marvels” looks like it’s about to break some more records as the lowest this and that for Marvel or Disney.

As for “Wish,” The Hollywood Reporter says: “Even during its more successful moments, Wish’s magic falls flat. The film is weighed down by its purpose: to revel in Disney nostalgia while soaring into the future.”

Here’s what’s considered a positive review from the UK Independent: “Wish, clearly, has been made with care, but as its credits offer a whistle-stop tour through Disney’s history, it’s hard not to think – god, wasn’t it great when they made stuff as weird and fun and daring as, say, The Emperor’s New Groove?”

Disney is clearly at a crossroads when both of their cash cows come up empty. With Marvel they’re also facing a huge crisis with the next round of Avengers movies thanks to star Jonathan Majors’ domestic abuse trial. If “Wish” is a bust when it arrives next week in time for Thanksgiving, look for a lot of changes very quickly at the Mouse House.

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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