Strange World Is a Historic Bomb for Disney on a Weak Thanksgiving Box Office Weekend

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BrianL

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Jul 24, 2013
Marketing left a lot to be desired...and...

A central part of the plot, the non-hetero romance part, alienates a ton of people. Whether you think that's right or not, people feel a certain way about having certain things in children's entertainment. Seems to be a trend where those themes are included...the movie doesn't perform.

It's not really a central part of the plot, but certainly people do have feelings about it. I am not convinced it's enough to have that much box-office impact though. The marketing and also general premise I think had more effect.
 

Karin1984

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 5, 2012
They definitely lost something in the storytelling department. My first comment to my friend I was with was: That was a lot of talking.

Marketing left a lot to be desired...and...

A central part of the plot, the non-hetero romance part, alienates a ton of people. Whether you think that's right or not, people feel a certain way about having certain things in children's entertainment. Seems to be a trend where those themes are included...the movie doesn't perform.
That's not a central part of the plot. It's a detail. It wasn't mentioned anywhere in the marketing, people would have to go to the movie to find out. With Beauty and the Beast it had leaked well before the movie and people decided to go or not go based on that there was a gay character in there. I can't imagine that people know this going into Strange World.

For me why this movie fails as a Disney / animation / family movie
1. Too much talking and time spend on relationships
2. Too little time spend on the adventure.
3. Every problem is solved too easily. Monsters are defeated quite easily. Misunderstandings are talked out in a reasonably mature way almost immediately.
Without any conflict, there is no story.
 

Smugpugmug

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 3, 2022
It's not really a central part of the plot, but certainly people do have feelings about it. I am not convinced it's enough to have that much box-office impact though. The marketing and also general premise I think had more effect.
Right. Like remember when Lefou was announced to be gay in the Beauty and the Beast remake and people were so outraged they refused to go see it? That didn't stop it from making over 1 billion in the box office. I just think this film didn't have enough marketing and general appeal.
 

BrianL

Doom Buggy Driver
Joined
Jul 24, 2013
They definitely lost something in the storytelling department. My first comment to my friend I was with was: That was a lot of talking.


That's not a central part of the plot. It's a detail. It wasn't mentioned anywhere in the marketing, people would have to go to the movie to find out. With Beauty and the Beast it had leaked well before the movie and people decided to go or not go based on that there was a gay character in there. I can't imagine that people know this going into Strange World.

For me why this movie fails as a Disney / animation / family movie
1. Too much talking and time spend on relationships
2. Too little time spend on the adventure.
3. Every problem is solved too easily. Monsters are defeated quite easily. Misunderstandings are talked out in a reasonably mature way almost immediately.
Without any conflict, there is no story.

I would say that talking, character, and relationship development are good things and a strong point of the movie. There is still plenty of adventure. I do agree that the interpersonal relationships are solved a little too quickly, particularly Jaeger's arc at the end. It's not a major issue though and all of that would only be known after the movie has been seen. Reviews have been pretty positive, so I think it's really just marketing and just a premise that not a lot of people connect to at fault. That and the short theatrical window these days - the likely audience for this knows it will be on D+ shortly and the kids can watch it all they want.
 

middlechild

Mouseketeer
Joined
Nov 4, 2013
This survey in this article was people leaving the theater.
https://www.msn.com/en-us/movies/ne...0-year-disney-movie-rating-streak/ar-AA14ylPC
" The market research firm CinemaScore, which polls theater audiences after seeing the movie, has revealed that Strange World received a B, making it the first ever Walt Disney Animation Studios film to score below an A- according to CinemaScore's metrics."

One possible explanation is the loss of trust by the general public in anything Disney does, today. Loss of a wholesome public image can be demonstrated in many ways including walking into a movie expecting to be disappointed. Seems like everyone has a reason to hate on TWDC now, and what better way than to tell a survey taker to "buzz lightyear off!!" thereby trashing TWDC far more than the movie itself. If you upset parents and grandparents, as a family friendly organisation, you are left only with the twenty-somethings that are not married, and not parents.
 

Jrb1979

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 2, 2018
I'm not really surprised this didn't do well. Disney didn't market this at all. I'm seeing a lot of people on social media sites saying that they didn't even know this was coming out. For me, I haven't gone to the movie theater in 3 years as I don't have an issue with waiting until a movie comes to streaming to watch it. This didn't look interesting enough for me to pay to go see it.
IMO that's becoming a problem with movies in general. IMO they need to stop giving them away for "free" so quickly. If they want to put it on streaming quickly charge $20 extra to watch it. Wait 6 months before it's included
 

Karin1984

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 5, 2012
Yes, talking, relationship development etc. is great for a story. But not when there is no or hardly any conflict. It's more telling than showing. The talks don't go deep enough.
Searcher: "I don't want to be like you." Quite an adult conversation with clear communication for a 15 year old.
Jaeger: "Alright, then you'll go back and I'll continue."
And that was that. And we repeat it at the end with Ethan and Searcher.

The conversation between Searcher and Ethan in the car is another example of 'show don't tell'. Searcher tells that Jaeger was a bad father. We don't see that. Jaeger might be a little too much and had different ideas about what Searcher should do, but we don't see a lot that this was a big issue. From what I remember (and it was only yesterday I saw the movie), they split in an okay way. Yes, it sucks if your dad leaves and never returns and you think him dead. But we only hear about this, we don't see anything that showed how much Searcher suffered for it. If a viewer has to fill in the blanks on how a character would probably feel in a certain situation, that doesn't help caring or feeling for a character.

What the scene in the car does show, it is the second or third time we see Searcher and Ethan having a very loving and healthy relationship. Which makes the conflict in the end a bit unbelievable. With how the relationship is shown, I do not believe that Ethan would think it as a problem to talk to his father in all honesty about his dreams to become an explorer. The conflict on the ship doesn't surpass the level of bickering and not something that hinders the story.

Now that I think about it...
Does Searcher, or any of the other characters, have any real flaws?
 

Mikey15

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 29, 2018
IMO that's becoming a problem with movies in general. IMO they need to stop giving them away for "free" so quickly. If they want to put it on streaming quickly charge $20 extra to watch it. Wait 6 months before it's included

I started to look up the top 2022 box office films just to list how low the totals were compared to years past, and I accidentally found something even more telling: total box office gross by year.
https://www.boxofficemojo.com/year/?ref_=bo_nb_hm_secondarytab
Domestic has gone from $11b each year 2015-2019 down to under $7b YTD, after an even worse 2020 & 2021.

It's odd for me to see as someone who's very happy to be going to theaters again, but people really have stopped showing up. Checking on 2022's top 12, I've seen 8 in first-run theater, 1 on-demand for free, 1 on-demand rental, so I'm in those numbers, but there's millions of people who aren't.
 

Karin1984

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 5, 2012
Sorry for this post, but as a test: is the board glitching?
I can see I am the last poster, but my post doesnt show up and also the next post box has disappeared...
 

Jwaire

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 17, 2020
IMO that's becoming a problem with movies in general. IMO they need to stop giving them away for "free" so quickly. If they want to put it on streaming quickly charge $20 extra to watch it. Wait 6 months before it's included

Hard to do when you're trying to grow your streaming service.
 

Narcoossee11

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 15, 2020
A story in the breakroom today.

Wife was telling the crowd that her husband HAD to see the new Top Gun movie.
Went two the different friends. Really liked it even though it cost $10 for ticket , $15 for snacks and
$5 for toll road ( orl and our toll roads). TWICE.

During Thanksgiving brother and family came to house; he rented movie on demand or maybe purchased it at Walmart.
Husband watched it on the big screen TV and was able to pause it when they wanted to. LOVED it .

Realized he actually loved it more at his home. Got the same reaction he had at the theater. Big screen TV and a sound bar,

May never go to another movie in a theater. That is why theaters have a up hill climb.
 

Karin1984

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 5, 2012
I do agree that talking, developing relationships is good for a story, but not when there is no or hardly any conflict. The talks don't go deep enough. The talks all tell, but don't show.
Searcher: "I don't want to be an explorer." Which is quite an adult and clear way of communicating for a 15 year old.
Jaeger: "Then you go back, and I'll continue."
And that's that. The conflict is resolved. It's repeated when Ethan and Searcher have the same issue later in the movie.

In the scene in the car between Searcher and Ethan, Searcher tells that Jaeger was a bad father. But that's not something we have seen. We do see that Jaeger is a bit too much and maybe have other ideas, but not something that gives real problems, we do see the compass with the picture of a happy family. The father and son have different ideas, but we don't see that Searcher has really suffered because of it. It might be implied, but if it's up to the audience to fill in the blanks how a character feels, you are missing out in relating to a character.

What the scene in the car does show us is for the second or third time: Searcher and Ethan have a very healthy and good relationship. That makes it a bit unbelievable that Ethan wouldn't want to or is scared to tell his father that he doesn't want to be a farmer. With how their relationship is, it doesn't seem like a problem for Ethan to tell this to Searcher.

Now that I think of it:
Does Searcher, or any of the other characters, have any real flaws?

Maybe Disney isn't necessarily losing out on storytelling. Maybe it's giving characters flaws and making them not perfect.
 

fatmanatee

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 25, 2017
Might have eaten a post of mine too. I thought it might have been because I had a hyperlink in it (to a well-known website with no safety concerns that I know of...)
If I have this right it seems like the 8th, 9th, and 10th posts on each page don’t show up.
 

BrianL

Doom Buggy Driver
Joined
Jul 24, 2013
I do agree that talking, developing relationships is good for a story, but not when there is no or hardly any conflict. The talks don't go deep enough. The talks all tell, but don't show.
Searcher: "I don't want to be an explorer." Which is quite an adult and clear way of communicating for a 15 year old.
Jaeger: "Then you go back, and I'll continue."
And that's that. The conflict is resolved. It's repeated when Ethan and Searcher have the same issue later in the movie.

In the scene in the car between Searcher and Ethan, Searcher tells that Jaeger was a bad father. But that's not something we have seen. We do see that Jaeger is a bit too much and maybe have other ideas, but not something that gives real problems, we do see the compass with the picture of a happy family. The father and son have different ideas, but we don't see that Searcher has really suffered because of it. It might be implied, but if it's up to the audience to fill in the blanks how a character feels, you are missing out in relating to a character.

What the scene in the car does show us is for the second or third time: Searcher and Ethan have a very healthy and good relationship. That makes it a bit unbelievable that Ethan wouldn't want to or is scared to tell his father that he doesn't want to be a farmer. With how their relationship is, it doesn't seem like a problem for Ethan to tell this to Searcher.

Now that I think of it:
Does Searcher, or any of the other characters, have any real flaws?

Maybe Disney isn't necessarily losing out on storytelling. Maybe it's giving characters flaws and making them not perfect.

I think they clearly have flaws, Searcher most of all because he is so dead set that his son will follow in his footsteps. he's overbearing about it. I don't think Ethan and Searcher have such a great relationship, especially with Eathan in his teen years. Jaeger is teh one who says "let the kid decide" which is the more mature attitude. Jaeger has flaws too of course, stubbornness being one. All that is there for sure. The only issue is, again, that they do overcome their flaws ratehr quickly/easily. It's nothing that a couple of extra minutes couldn't have solved though.
 

AvidDisReader

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Igor said years ago that the key for Disney is to never forget the importance of the Princess Animated stories. Think Moana, Frozen, Frozen II. It is ok to intersperse other stories, but they should not forget the stories parents want to take their kids to see. There is another Pixar movie coming out called Elemental--another non Princess movie. They need to get back to the basics, how did the line go "If you build it they will come", same could be said for the Princess movies.
 

Mikey15

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 29, 2018
If I have this right it seems like the 8th, 9th, and 10th posts on each page don’t show up.

Interesting, that's what I'm seeing on my end too.

May never go to another movie in a theater. That is why theaters have a up hill climb.

I started to look up the top 2022 box office films just to list how low the totals were compared to years past, and I accidentally found something even more telling: total box office gross by year. Domestic has gone from $11b each year 2015-2019 to under $7b YTD this year ('20 & '21 even worse). As someone who enjoys going to the theater I've done my part, so this surprises me a bit, but apparently a lot of people are just as happy watching at home or not at all.
 
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