As I’ve discussed quite a bit, Disney and Lucasfilm ended up spending far too much on “Dial of Destiny,” in no small part thanks to the pandemic. But still, $300 million is almost too big a number to manage, as you would be looking at needing to make somewhere close to $800 million — if not more — just to break even. 15 years ago, “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” pulled in $790 million worldwide. But that was 15 years ago and, not for nothing, that movie left a bad taste in a lot of moviegoers’ mouths. It was always going to be a herculean task to try and match that number, let alone surpass it to get into profits.
Now, circling back to “John Carter.” The 2012 sci-fi film is oft-cited as one of the biggest box office flops in history, with the film making just $282.7 million worldwide against a gigantic $263.7 million production budget. Disney, as a result, ended up losing $200 million and it killed a potential franchise in violent fashion. The only other live-action Disney movie that is in the same financial disaster ballpark is “The Lone Ranger,” which lost around $190 million. Either way, it’s terrible company to be in.
The fact that the latest “Indiana Jones” movie had an even larger budget is concerning and, as of right now, the film is not expected to pass $400 million worldwide. Theaters keep about half of that money. So, take Disney’s $300 million budget, plus at least $100 million for marketing, and you can see where this could easily wind up in the same ballpark as “John Carter.” Hopefully, it will help Disney and other studios figure out this budget crisis because this is wholly unsustainable.
“Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” is currently playing in theaters.