Twitter Blames Fans for Disney’s Failure With ‘Wish’ Release, “Nobody Supports Original Films”

in Disney, Movies

King Magnifico in Wish trailer

Credit: Disney

Heralded as the celebration of 100 years of Walt Disney Animation history and a loving homage to the movies that came before, Wish has faced contention and contempt for months prior to its recent release.

Wish follows a teenage girl named Asha (voiced by Ariana DeBose) and her adventures upon discovering, and befriending, a wishing star. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, Wish released against Liongate’s The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes and Apple Original Productions’ Napoleon to a middling box office reception. Songbirds & Snake came in first, earning around $41 million in a 5-day stretch, leaving Napolean in second and Wish in third, according to Deadline. As of the time of writing, Wish has earned $20 million on a budget of around $175-200 million.

Asha (Ariana DeBose) holding a wishing star in Disney's 'Wish' (2023)
Credit: Disney

Fans have taken to various social media websites to state their opinions on why the movie was not the smash success Disney was hoping for. X.com, formally Twitter, user @OrangeGrove55 posted “Wish’s weak opening is EXACTLY why Disney is doing multiple Frozen sequels and another Toy Story. Nobody supports the original films yet complains about too many sequels.”

To be fair, Disney DOES do a lot of original movies. Just looking at Walt Disney Animation Studios alone, Disney has released more originals than sequels overall. Since Frozen (2013) was released 10 years ago, Disney has released seven original movies to theaters and only two sequels. In the same time frame, since Monsters University in 2013, Pixar released eight original movies and five movies based on a previous Pixar feature.

While how they feel about this ratio is up to the viewer, it’s incorrect to say that the studios have outright abandoned feature films not based on a previous property. Some feel that it’s actually Disney themselves who have hurt their numbers by prioritizing their streaming service Disney+. As user @wittytweetsetc said, “Disney + started Nov 2019. Then the pandemic happened. I think we’re finally seeing the truth that Disney + on some level cannibalizes its Box Office numbers. It’s def easier/cheaper for a family to stay home and just watch the movie in 3 months.” Others blamed the marketing and tough competition for the lack of ticket sales.

Asha (Ariana Debose) with her friends in shock.
Credit: Disney

Another intriguing angle is the recent claim of “Disney fatigue.”  @ogorangebird explains that “All I heard for years on here is people want Disney to create more films using the classic Disney formula with a villain and yet no one shows up.” While others, like @BrerOswald, point out that this style of animation is still too basic to be enticing. “See, idk if it’s so black and white. I think myself and quite a few others are tired of the “2010s style” of Disney movies that started with Tangled. Wish kinda looks like another one of those but even less interesting. I was intrigued by the film until I watched the trailers.” 

@timraes1 blamed Disney, not the fans, saying, “Encanto is an example of doing well in the past years and being all original. They just put out way too much that isent that good or worth it. The problem lays with Disney, not the audience. Those sequels are coming because everyone loves those brands and they are almost iconic.”

Mirabel and Dolores Madrigal talking in Encanto
Credit: Disney

Wish’s lackluster opening weekend performance could be due to a variety of factors, although whether the blame truly lies with audiences or Disney is anybody’s guess. As fans start to tire of Disney’s cookie-cutter 3D animation style, it could mark a return to 2D animation and newer storylines that could bring fans back in droves. Or, it could just be, that at the end of the day, fans love movies like Toy Story and Frozen, no matter their complaints, and will continue to show up to support their favorite franchises.

What did you think about Wish? Would you rather have Disney focus on more original ideas or return to successful franchises? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

in Disney, Movies

View Comments (7)