Disney on Track To Win Back the Box Office, Report Says

in Disney

Asha's hair blows in the wind in Wish

Credit: Disney

If the latest numbers are true, Disney is about to make a major rebound at the box office thanks to Wish.

As The Walt Disney Company has proudly proclaimed all year long as part of its Disney100 celebration, it’s been 100 years since it started entertaining audiences across the globe. The studio has come a long way since the Mickey Mouse cartoons produced by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks back in the 1920s but still has the same reputation for immersive, inspirational storytelling.

Mickey Mouse in front of the pool at Typhoon Lagoon
Credit: Disney

Related: ‘Wish’ Barely Rendered and Unfinished, Disney Animator Confirms

However, this reputation has started to slip in recent months. The last few Disney debuts have struggled to gain traction at the box office. The divisive live-action remake The Little Mermaid (2023) underperformed overseas which, combined with the equally disappointing performances from the likes of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023), Haunted Mansion (2023), Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023), reportedly contributed to a $1 billion loss for the studio.

Its prospects weren’t much brighter in 2022. Not only was Pixar’s Lightyear (2023) so disappointing that several of the creatives involved were later fired, but last November’s Strange World (2022) lost Disney $197 million – a number that was reportedly worse than any other Hollywood film that year.

Searcher Clade (Jake Gyllenhaal) with dog Legend.
Credit: Disney

Considering how monumental 2023 was supposed to be for The Walt Disney Company, this losing streak is more than a bit disappointing. The studio seems determined to get things back on track with its next animated film, Wish (2023).

Due to hit theaters on November 22Wish tells the story of a 17-year-old girl named Asha (Ariana DeBose) who makes a wish upon a star in a moment of need. The latest addition to Disney animation canon also stars Chris Pine, who voices the film’s villain, King Magnifico, Alan Tudyk as a goat named Valentino, Angelique Cabral as Magnifico’s wife, Queen Amaya, and Sakina as Asha’s mother, Sakina.

Said to be packed with references (or “legacy nods”) to previous Disney Classics, the film’s directors, Chris Buck and Fawn Veerasunthorn – as well as its writers, Jennifer Lee and Allison Moore – are determined to pay homage to Disney’s legacy. If the initial box office projections are anything to go by, they may actually salvage its financial reputation altogether.

Asha being surrounded by butterflies and purple light in Wish
Credit: Disney

According to Box Office Pro, Wish is tracking to make Disney between $45 million and $65 million in its opening weekend. It’s also on track to make between $185 million and $289 million in total at the domestic box office.

For reference, Frozen (2013) opened to $67.4 million, and Wreck-It Ralph (2012) with $49 million. Meanwhile, Strange World opened to $11.9 million. All three films received November releases.

Asha looks forward sternly in the movie 'Wish.'
Credit: Disney

Related: Disney Slowly Ends CGI Era

Box Office Pro’s Chief Analyst Shawn Robbins said, “Early pre-sales for Wish are well above the pace of 2021’s Encanto and 2022’s Strange World, the former having released as COVID-19 concerns remained front of mind for parents and the latter turning into a major misfire that didn’t appeal to much of Disney’s core audience.”

Disney clearly has a lot of faith in Wish. The marketing campaign for the Disney Animation has been aggressive so far, despite stars like DeBose and Pine being unable to promote it due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike. For the studio’s sake, we hope this faith is well-placed.

Are you excited to see Wish? Let us know in the comments!

Comments Off on Disney on Track To Win Back the Box Office, Report Says