2022 was a big year for Disney, with movie fans around the world slowly returning to cinemas after the pandemic and closing the year off with one of the biggest movies of all time, “Avatar: The Way Of Water”. But not every Disney film turned a profit, which has resulted in Disney returning to its pre-pandemic strategy for movie releases, with longer theatrical releases and returning to premium digital and home video releases before going to streaming.
Recently, Deadline has revealed the biggest box office bombs of 2022, and Disney has a number of films on the list, including:
Strange World – Walt Disney Animation – Total Loss: -$197.4M
Three generations of a legendary family of explorers will find themselves in an uncharted land with strange creatures. If they want to survive from the numerous dangers, they must bridge their differences and work together.
This was the biggest box office bomb of 2022, costing Disney almost $200 million dollars, and Disney knew they had a dud on their hands when they rushed the film to Disney+ for Christmas. Even then, it didn’t make much of an impact compared to other newer releases.
There were multiple problems facing “Strange World” at the box office. Disney has always struggled to find success with science fiction films, with “Treasure Planet”, “Atlantis”, and “John Carter”, all failing to capture success. And “Strange World” continued that trend. This film suffered from being linked to being political, resulting in it having pushback from some audiences from the film having a gay character and for dealing with real-world issues like climate change. Many fans said that Disney didn’t promote the film enough, yet they still spent over $90 million advertising the movie.
Lightyear – Pixar – Total Loss: -$106M
Legendary space ranger Buzz Lightyear embarks on an intergalactic adventure alongside ambitious recruits Izzy, Mo, Darby, and his robot companion, Sox. As this motley crew tackles their toughest mission yet, they must learn to work together as a team to escape the evil Zurg and his dutiful robot army that are never far behind.
While the Toy Story films have been huge hits, “Lightyear” didn’t have the golden touch, as audiences became confused over why this Buzz Lightyear looked and sounded different. And much like “Strange World”, the film also suffered from a negative reaction to having a gay character in the film.
After the previous three Pixar films, “Turning Red”, “Soul” and “Luca”, all being released directly onto Disney+ during the pandemic, there was a problem that families had become “trained” to wait for films to be released on Disney+, rather than going to cinemas.
Amsterdam – New Regency/20th Century – Total Loss: -$108.4M
Follows three friends who witness a murder, become suspects themselves, and uncover one of the most outrageous plots in American history.
One of the biggest problems for this film was that production was shifted to Los Angeles due to the pandemic, which increased the film’s budget by $30 million. With a huge all-star cast, its budget was much higher than it probably should have been. But more importantly, the film just didn’t connect with audiences.
Other films making a list included:
Sony’s Devotion -Total Loss: -$89.2M
Paramount’s Babylon – Total Loss: -$87.4M
With releasing multiple films a year, Disney is always rolling the dice with the box office, as not every film is going to hit. But in 2022, “Strange World” and “Lightyear” failed for almost the same problems.
Both “Strange World” and “Lightyear” are available to stream on Disney+, while “Amsterdam” is also available to stream on Disney+ internationally and on HBO Max in the United States.
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Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom.