Entertainment And News

Why Disney Is Being Accused Of Deliberately Planning 'Strange World' Box Office Flop

Photo: Wlat Disney Animation Studios / Tinseltown / Ovidiu Hrubaru / Shutterstock
Strange World, Jake Gyllenhaal, Lucy Liu

The lead-up and marketing to Disney’s newest animated film, “Strange World,” was minimal at best.

With a star-studded cast featuring celebrities like Jake Gyllenhaal, Dennis Quaid, Gabrielle Union, and Lucy Liu, and a plot paired with a visual style meant to wow even the most skeptical of audiences, the film had every reason to explode at the box office.

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However, after its release on November 23, 2022, “Strange World” had an extremely underwhelming opening at the box office, winning only $18.6 million domestically from its $180 million price tag.

Whenever something fails — especially from a media giant like Disney — there’s an increase in speculation surrounding the movie as people look for places to point their fingers.

Fans of Disney’s ‘Strange World’ movie, however, believe that the box office flop was planned.

On November 17, 2022, Jordan Woodson posted a Tweet predicting that Disney’s “Strange World” would flop and explained precisely why he thought so.

“Disney is 100% going to blame STRANGE WORLD's inevitable bad box office on the fact that there's an openly gay character in the movie when in reality, it's going to flop because they didn't market it at all,” he penned. “They'll use this as an excuse to not have queer rep ever again.”

Ethan Clade, played by Jaboukie Young-White, is Disney’s first openly gay lead character in a movie, and although many people saw this as an opportunity for good representation, other (homophobic) people saw it as a red flag.

Before the movie aired, already people were complaining about the movie being “woke” and “the woke agenda” so that when it was time for the movie to come out, they would have LGBT representation to blame instead of the poor marketing.

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Some people weren’t even aware that the movie had been released.

“I didn’t even know this was out? They barely promoted this,” wrote another user on Twitter.

"Lightyear," Disney’s previous animated film also flopped and included a kiss between two women that caused it to be banned in several countries and ultimately had to be removed.

Now, many are wondering if higher-ups at the Disney corporation took this as a sign to walk away from the “risk” in the future, so when people complain about the lack of LBGT+ representation, they can point to the lack of commercial success “Strange World” and “Lightyear” had as a reason to avoid diverse representation.

“This is what happens when you go woke and not focus on storytelling,” one user wrote on Twitter.

Another wrote, “Go woke go broke.”

“Who would've thought that forcing a message to kids rather than just writing a good story would make a movie bomb,” penned a third.

As the conservative movie-goers write off the film, fans of animated movies and those who advocate for more representation in general, reel in the aftermath of the film.

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Many people blamed Disney’s former CEO Bob Chapek as the reason for the film’s poor marketing.

“It’ll be a huge reminder of how much disrespect Chapek has for animation because of the minimal marketing he did,” read one tweet.

The former CEO was previously criticized for his opinions on animated films, claiming that they were just for kids.

“I always say that when our fans and our audiences put their kids to bed at night after watching Pinocchio or Dumbo or Little Mermaid, they’re probably not going to tune into another animated movie,” he said in an interview with Wall Street Journal. “They want something for them.”

Fans rejoiced when Chapek was ousted and replaced with Bob Iger, a man who truly respected Disney’s animated films and animation studios.

Hope for the future of animated movies that won't be marketed poorly as "Strange World" was has returned.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is an Assistant Editor who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Keep up with his rants about current events on his Twitter.

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