Disney To Crack $10 Billion Box Office Despite Failing Franchises?

in Disney, Movies

Sam Wilson, Rey, Indiana Jones, Woody, and Snow White with the Disney logo

Credit: Inside the Magic

The Walt Disney Company suffered a nearly unprecedented streak of cinematic flops in 2023, but experts still think the Mouse will pull through and boost the global box office past a staggering $10 billion.

Classic Walt Disney Studios logo with castle
Credit: Disney

Disney began showing some cracks in its armor prior to the last year when movies like Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) and Strange World (2022) underperformed. That could be partially blamed on the effects of COVID-19, which devastated an unprepared film industry, as well as, in retrospect, the beginnings of Marvel fatigue.

But 2023 was when things really began to go bad for Disney when Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania failed to make back its budget, and The Marvels sank so hard that it became the lowest-grossing MCU movie to date. The live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, starring Halle Bailey, disappointed with its international receipts. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny closed out the Harrison Ford franchise with a whimper, the Haunted Mansion reboot went nowhere, and finally, Wish, a centennial love letter from Disney to itself, finished the year to poor reception and lower grosses.

Asha from Disney's 'Wish' standing in front of a door
Credit: Disney

Related: Disney Brings ‘Indiana Jones’ Back to the Big Screen After ‘Dial of Destiny’ Flops

Despite all that, box office analysts think that Walt Disney Pictures will bring the overall worldwide gross (meaning the aggregate of all major studio recipes) past $10 billion by either 2025 or 2026 (per CNBC). Boxoffice.com‘s chief analyst Shawn Robbins says it’s “still too early to say [if 2025] will or won’t [crack $10 billion worldwide gross],” but that 2026 will.

Roth MKM managing director Eric Handler says, “We don’t know completely what is in ’26, but I think it could end up being bigger than 2025 because it’ll be the first time ever that we have like four mega-franchise films…I think 2026 has a good shot to be the year that the industry gets back to $10 billion.”

Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) in 'Avatar: The Way of Water'
Credit: 20th Century Studios

The four mega-franchise films that Handler refers to are the upcoming Avatar sequel (a 20th Century production), Avengers: The Kang Dynasty (Marvel Studios), and two different Star Wars films, one with Daisy Ridley reprising the role of Rey and one featuring the Mandalorian (both Lucasfilm). All of those films are under the umbrella of the Walt Disney Company one way or another, which means that if anyone is going to push the worldwide box office gross over the $10 billion line, it’ll be the Mouse House.

Related: After Historic Box Office Flop, Disney and Marvel Announce ‘The Marvels’ Digital Release Date

Jonathan Majors looking stern as Kang the Conqueror
Credit: Marvel Studios

All of that does sound very impressive, but it is worth noting that The Kang Dynasty is in limbo after the firing of star Jonathan Majors, and the last entry in the Star Wars franchise, The Rise of Skywalker (2019), was the lowest-grossing in its trilogy. Then, there’s the fact that the Indiana Jones series is on ice, and while Elemental (2023) was a bright spot for Disney, Pixar executives have openly admitted audiences are not buying tickets to their movies like they used to.

We’ll have to wait and see what 2025 and 2026 bring, but it will be a huge comeback if Disney actually manages to bring the box office thunder like it used to.

Do you think Disney will ever again be the box office force it once was? Tell us in the comments below!

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