‘Indiana Jones 5’ Online Viewership Numbers Revealed as Disney Tries to Save Dying Franchise

in Disney, Entertainment

Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in 'Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny'

Credit: Lucasfilm

Reactions were mixed when Harrison Ford’s final adventure as the titular archeologist in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023) hit theaters in June. But opinions aside, one thing’s for sure: the summer blockbuster was an indisputable box office bomb. Months later, Disney and Lucasfilm are still trying to salvage the film’s reputation and recently released online viewership statistics to help back up their claims that audiences are, in fact, tuning in for the fifth and final Indy installment after all.

Harrison Ford Indiana Jones Dial of Destiny
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: ‘Indiana Jones 5’ Star Defends Controversial Ending Amid Box Office Flop

Why Did ‘Indiana Jones 5’ Flop?

James Mangold’s Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny had many things working in its favor: its leading man—still gracing the silver screen at the age of 81—creative consulting from Steven Spielberg himself, and a whopping $300 million production budget courtesy of the House of Mouse. But when it finally premiered in June 2023 after a year-long delay, it was met with little fanfare uncharacteristic of previous Indy installments.

Dial of Destiny seemed doomed from the start after opening to just $60.4 million domestically before gradually fizzling out over the following weeks. In total, the action flick earned $375.4 million worldwide. That might sound impressive on the surface, but considering its mind-boggling budget, the film was deemed a box office bomb, resulting in a $100 million loss for Disney.

Still from Dial of Destiny
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: ‘Indiana Jones 5’ Reuses an Unpopular ‘Star Wars’ Storyline

So, what went wrong? Well, on the one hand, many praised Ford’s performance as the lovably snarky professor-turned-adventurer and its score, composed by franchise legend John Williams. The return of Indy’s wife, Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen), was also a welcome surprise, even though her role in the movie was cut down to little more than a cameo in final edits.

Marion Ravenwood in 'Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny'
Credit: Lucasfilm

However, many weren’t so impressed with the addition of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Helena Shaw, who some accused of stealing the spotlight from Indy in what should’ve been his most important quest. Others blasted its outlandish time-traveling antics, while others agreed that it didn’t quite have the nostalgia factor of previous Indiana Jones installments.

phoebe waller-bridge indiana jones
Credit: Lucasfilm

It’s hard to pinpoint what exactly set the fifth Indiana Jones movie on a direct path to disaster, but the blame can almost certainly be placed on three things: critics’ lukewarm reviews, a pricy overall budget, and a general lack of appeal for moviegoers, who have become disillusioned with seemingly endless sequels and remakes.

‘Indiana Jones 5’ Is a Hit With Online Viewers

But even though Dial of Destiny didn’t kick off on a high note after becoming the lowest-rated film of the franchise on Rotten Tomatoes, its at-home release numbers tell a drastically different story. According to new data from television analytics firm Samba TV, the latest Indiana Jones movie was watched by 474 thousand domestic households in its first six days on VOD.

Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in 'Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny'
Credit: Lucasfilm

These numbers are impressive, especially when compared to other summer 2023 blockbusters like Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023), which was watched by 482 thousand households in its first five days, and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (2023), which earned 321 thousand views.

What Does This Mean for Disney’s ‘Indiana Jones’ Franchise?

It’s unusual to see a blockbuster recover so well on major digital platforms, especially given that Dial of Destiny has yet to be released on Disney+. Currently, a streaming release date remains up in the air, though some have theorized that October or November are ideal for it to be released.

Doctor Jürgen Voller (Mads Mikkelsen) in Lucasfilm's Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.
Credit: Lucasfilm

However, with Haunted Mansion (2023) arriving in time for Halloween and the fifth Indiana Jones film’s strong online viewership figures in mind, it seems more likely that Disney and Lucasfilm would wait until November to take advantage of the Thanksgiving season.

This new data is particularly interesting, and suggests that fans chose to watch Dial of Destiny in the comfort of their homes, agreeing that it’s not a must-watch in theaters. But even though fans might be missing out on the cinematic experience by watching it online, these numbers are certainly good news as Disney and Lucasfilm start to plan out the future of Indiana Jones—if corporate higher-ups haven’t already scrapped it.

What did you think of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny? Would you call it a “flop?” Let us know in the comments below.

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