Disney films flopped hard in 2023

Walt Disney
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Untill quite recently, Disney looked unstoppable on its way to dominating Hollywood. But in 2023, its box office plummeted, and its magic faded. What has gone wrong?

The year 2023 should have been a magical one for The Walt Disney Company.

The studio was founded by Walt and Roy Disney in 1923, so a host of films, books and events had been planned to celebrate its centenary. Recent cartoons such as Frozen and Moana had proven that its animation department was thriving, and various mergers had given the Company control of the Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel franchises, too.

“It was an incredible collection of brands all in one place,” says Charles Gant, Screen International’s box office editor. “In 2019, Disney looked unstoppable.” Indeed, seven out of the 10 films in 2019’s global top 10 were Disney productions, each of them with box-office takings of over one billion dollars. If it seemed unlikely that 2023 would be quite as extraordinarily stellar, there must have been a hope it wouldn’t be far off.

Instead, it became known as the year when the studio’s magic faded. At the time of writing, the year’s top three global hits are Barbie, The Super Mario Bros Movie, and Oppenheimer, all of them made by Disney’s rivals. The so-called Mouse House is represented by Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 in fourth place, and the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid at number nine, but the hits were outnumbered by the misses. The Marvels was the lowest grossing release ever to come from Marvel Studios. It was, Gant tells BBC Culture, “a flat-out calamity, and a reminder to studio heads that just because a film grosses more than $1bn worldwide (as Captain Marvel did in 2019), that does not mean audiences are eager for a sequel”.

Read more at BBC.com

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Chuck comes from a lineage of journalism. He has written for some of the webs most popular news sites. He enjoys spending time outdoors, bull riding, and collecting old vinyl records. Roll Tide!