Even though this is not Star Wars, I feel that many Star Wars fans also grew up with Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones and love at least the three classic movies from the 1980s. Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was met with a much more lukewarm reaction 15 years ago, but it ultimately almost made $800 million worldwide, which means it was a success and made money. But now industry analysts have posted updated opening weekend box office projections (The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline have articles about the latest projections) for Indiana Jones And The Dial of Destiny, in which Phoebe Waller-Bridge will star alongside Harrison Ford, and the numbers are brutal: Indiana Jones 5 is currently projected to make $60 million on its opening weekend in North America, this is way down from previous projections. Let that sink in… the movie cost at least $300 million, add marketing costs and this movie easily cost Lucasfilm/Disney $400 million. And domestic opening weekend is just $60 million. Click through for more!
Back in 2008 Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’s opening weekend was $100 million, in 2023 dollars this is $141 million. You cannot compare a 2023 movie release with any of the 1980s movies, so opening weekend of the classic movies cannot be used here.
So unless international audiences love Indy 5 the movie may end up making maybe $190 million domestic (if its legs are as good as Indy 4, which is not guaranteed if it flops) and maybe if Disney is lucky it may make 200+ million abroad, meaning Indy 5 will make less than $500 million on a budget of $300 million plus marketing, maybe even less than $400 million worldwide, which would be a disaster almost on the same level as the massive box office flops for Disney that were John Carter and The Lone Ranger 11 and 10 years ago, both made about $350 million in 2023 dollars (adjusted for inflation) and both also had massively inflated budgets.
Disney’s only hope now is that Indy 5 does a James Bond – No Time To Die which made a measly 160 million in the US (it had a $55 million opening weekend in the US) but where 79% of its money was made abroad for a total box office of $774 million, so international audiences loved James Bond. With those numbers The Dial of Destiny would barely break even and at least not cost any money, or not so much at least.
Kingdom of the Crystal Skull only made 60% of its box office outside North America, so it’s uncertain, if not unlikely, that The Dial of Destiny can make close to 80% abroad. If Indy 5 performs on the same level as Kingdom of the Crystal Skull with 60% foreign box office share then it would earn about $270 million abroad for a worldwide total of about $450 – $470 million. But Disney needs at least $800 million to break even. If international audiences are not impressed and turn a cold shoulder towards the movie and foreign box office share is closer to 50% or even less (50% is more or less the foreign box office share for Star Wars) things will be much worse. With only 50% from foreign markets Indy 5 would make a disastrous $370 – $380 million maybe. 40% would make it one of the worst Disney box office flops ever with just $300 million worldwide total or so, on a total budget, including marketing, of $400 million, adjusted for inflation this would be a lot worse than even John Carter or Lone Ranger.
But it is difficult to say how international audiences will receive Indy 5. Reviews by the international press are pretty bad though, but reviews have little to no impact on box office.
So much will depend on worth of mouth. If the leaked plot (from the Cannes screening) is accurate I can’t see how this movie will have positive word of mouth, the ending is somewhat controversial, the movie does have a happy ending, kind of (spoiler!), but the way we get there is probably nothing people will like all that much. I won’t say more here, but let’s say Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s character Helena Shaw will do something at the end of the movie that may not go down well with audiences. You can easily look up spoilers on Reddit if you want to know more.
Also, as sad as it is, Indy in The Dial of Destiny is said to be a bit like Jake Skywalker. And this time it’s not even disappointed fans but professional reviewers who say it.
BBC Culture had this to say about the movie:
I’m not sure how many fans want to see Indiana Jones as a broken, helpless old man who cowers in the corner while his patronising goddaughter takes the lead, but that’s what we’re given, and it’s as bleak as it sounds.
This does not provide me with any confidence.
Also, early analytics reveal that the audience for Indiana Jones 5 is skewing considerably older, leaving younger audiences mostly cold, no surprise maybe, considering Indiana Jones was originally made for kids who grew up in the 1980s, so people who are now in the late 40s or early 50s, and Harrison Ford in 2023 is an octagenerian in an action movie, maybe not exactly what young people want to see who feel little nostalgia for the man with the fedora and whip.
Do you think a massive Indiana Jones flop could have an impact on the leadership of Lucasfilm and thus also impact Star Wars? Remember that this is very much Kathleen Kennedy’s movie. Also, Indy 5 director James Mangold is meant to make a Star Wars movie, do you think if Indy 5 is a massive flop that Disney could get wet feet regarding Mangold’s movie and cancel the project? Or replace him with someone else? And how would it affect Hasbro’s merchandise for Indy 5? I.e. sales?
Will you see Indy 5 in a cinema when it opens on June 30th in the US or will you wait for it to appear on Disney+? Or will you skip it and not bother with it at all? Or will you sail the seven seas and watch the movie there?
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Title: Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny Projected To Be A Massive Flop
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Published Date: Thu, 08 Jun 2023 23:07:28 +0000
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