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Media Deny Jaw-Dropping Reasons for ‘Dial of Destiny’s’ Failure

Head-in-sand reporters ignore half the country's views on woke blockbusters

It’s all but official. “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” will put Disney in the red.


The fifth and presumably final film in the iconic saga opened to a weak $60 million at the U.S. box office. Those numbers would be withering for most would-be blockbusters, witness fiscal failures like “The Flash” ($55 million) and “Black Adam” ($67 million).

“Dial of Destiny” arrives with a bloated $295 million budget (or worse) plus millions in P&A. That means it’ll take a cinematic miracle for “Dial of Destiny” to break even.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny | Teaser Trailer

Let the professional second-guessing begin. Except elite Hollywood news outlets leave out critical reasons for the film’s failure.


The far-Left Deadline, which is inexplicably rooting for the film’s success, claims the sequel’s poor Cannes reception played a role in its belly flop-debut.

Correct. That dampened the excitement many originally had for the film.

The site then heaps lavish praise on Team Disney for its fastidious marketing and creative process. Really? The company has unleashed dud after dud (“Indy,” “Strange World,” “Lightyear,” “Elemental”) over the last few years, suggesting just the opposite.

It took the most successful film saga in a generation, “Star Wars,” and put it in dry dock while one proposed project after another got shelved.

Shouldn’t Team Disney’s crack marketers have kept “Destiny” far, far away from Cannes if critics weren’t going to be kind to it? Is this the same whipsmart Disney team pushing a Helena spinoff series while everyone predicted “Destiny” to dramatically under-perform at theaters?

Next, we’re told the real reason for “Destiny’s” downfall is that it’s competing against the earlier, superior films in the series.


“Star Wars” fans forgave the middling prequels and stormed to see 2015’s “The Force Awakens” to the tune of $2 billion worldwide.

Over at Variety, the far-Left site suggests the weak reaction to 2008’s “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” permanently damaged the franchise. That didn’t help, of course, but American audiences adore Indy and were rooting for a creative comeback.

That’s it? Those are the only reasons cited for the film’s weak performance.

What are these sites missing? Plenty. And it’s either on purpose or a sign of their shuttered mindset. For them, half the country doesn’t exist – Red State USA.


Conservatives worried, and rightly so, that Disney would emasculate another beloved hero in the name of woke female empowerment. Disney did just that with Oscar Isaac’s character in “The Last Jedi,” and woke groupthink has taken a firm hold of the studio in recent years.

Plus, Disney turned one of film’s most iconic heroes, Luke Skywalker, into a burned-out hermit who rebelled against The Force in “The Last Jedi.”

Early rumors suggested Disney has mistreated Harrison Ford’s Dr. Jones, too. Co-star Phoebe Waller-Bridge, cast as Indy’s goddaughter Helena, would replace Indy at the end of the film, taking his whip in the film’s waning moments.


The film endured reshoots during the production process, which isn’t abnormal in La La Land, so it’s possible that baton-passing ending got nixed in the end.

Team Disney could have handled those rumors better. Instead, director James Mangold attacked “trolls” for spreading misinformation.

It’s Marketing 101. Don’t insult your audience. The “Ghostbusters” crew learned that lesson the hard way.

Those “Destiny” rumors registered with both conservatives and die-hard Indy fans. Early reviews, even from liberal outlets like the BBC, shared how Waller-Bridge’s character dominates the action at Indy’s expense.

“Destiny” turns Ford’s character into a “Damsel in Distress” waiting for Helena to rescue him during another sequence. She even decks Indy with one punch at a critical moment in the film.


Did reporters mention these worries in their post-game analysis, which traveled at the speed of social media for months on end? Of course not.

Nor did the sites mention the film’s weak CGI effects seen in the first two trailers, neither of which made audiences hungry to see “Dial of Destiny.”

A similar story occurred seven years ago when the terrible, awful “Ghostbusters” trailer drove a stake in the heart of movie-goer interest, but the same far-Left media outlets called anyone who noticed that a misogynist.

Once again, the sites’ readers tried to clue reporters into the issues they regularly ignore. Here’s a sampling of Deadline reader responses.

The elephant in the room is that the LucasFilm and Disney brands are tainted. Fair or not far, right or not right, that’s the truth. Step outside of Hollywood and you’ll realize that. People are still pissed (in my opinion, rightfully so, but whatever) at Kathleen Kennedy and Co. for destroying Star Wars. They are done handing LucasFilm and Disney their hard earned dollars.

“Lucasfilm is so precious and fastidious when it comes to developing Star Wars properties” – Agree to disagree

Agree that this is part of the problem. I saw all the horrible CGI in a trailer and was immediately turned off. Plus I flat out don’t trust Disney or Lucasfilm after they pillaged Star Wars. Raiders is my all time favorite movie, if they couldn’t tempt me to see this, this is going to have a tough road.

There are a lot of words to describe Disney’s approach to the Star Wars feature films – and I’ve used plenty of them. But “precious and fastidious” don’t make the list, bruv.

Some Variety readers were similarly harsh.

You are 100% correct, we are sick of this woke trash.

Maybe now Disney will clean out Lucasfilm and get people in there with some fresh ideas, they’ve ruined Star Wars and Indy. It’ll be too bad they’re going to leave the place a mess.


  1. Can’t we all just get along?? Seriously, I am a political moderate. Can’t stand the far right Trumplikins but can’t stand woke far left socialists either. Now that I’ve established my middle of the road pedigree, let me say this: Conservatives are not exaggerating on this issue. Most movies out today show women as very tough and emotionally indifferent who approach all aspects of life like a stereotypocal macho male. They only want casual sex. They roll their eyes at weak males who desire emotional attachment with them. All sensitvity and emotionality is absent. Is that really what modern heterosexual women want? If so, how sad. A world full of self absorbed, emotionally callused people depresses me.

  2. What exactly is the “woke” agenda? A girl punched Indy? Marion punched punched Indy when she first met him in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Right after she drank a sherpa under the table and right before be beat the shit out of some Nazis.

    What does “woke” mean, exactly? Is anyone able to define it?

    I think “woke” means “anything men were manly enough to handle in the 80s but are too pussified to handle now.”

    No wonder biological females are taking a bit of testosterone and marrying women and buying some sperm for artificial insemination. Do you know why bio females think they can be better men than most bio males?

    It’s because they can.

    1. Marion punched Indy as a sign of her feistiness and the resentment she had for him. Helena, who is flawless, knows everything and can deck a grown man with one punch, is nothing like Marion.

      Woke means to place agenda over art, to promote female empowerment over the needs of the story. Woke, in general, is the way the progressive Left pretends to care about creating a better society and use Identity Politics, etc. to promote their agenda, flex their cultural might and shut up anyone who disagrees. Need one perfect example? The woke mob canceled Morgan Wallen for using the n-word in private. The same woke mob stood down when Hunter Biden repeatedly texted the n-word (and worse). See?

  3. Good title and subhead — it told me exactly how this piece was going to go and thus didn’t have to read it. Why do contemporary Americans insist on reducing everything to the dumbshow of what they call “politics”? Absolutely f***ing maddening…

  4. I’ve written a handful of comments here.
    None of which I’d think were offensive. Just my opinion and yet they’ve been deleted.
    Wow. Just more evidence of this CONSTANT agenda driven BS.
    Please explain to me why my opinions were deleted here.
    I challenge you yo give examples of any of what I wrote here as being offensive.
    Heck, you’ll probably delete this also.

  5. THEY DON’T KNOW BECAUSE THEY DON’T WANT TO KNOW. And you lot don’t understand what is happening, either. NOTHING YOU DO WILL CHANGE THEIR BEHAVIOR because they view their “wokeness” as the FUTURE. They are going to SATURATE THE MARKET WITH WOKE FILTH to the point where that’s going to be all YOU WILL BE ABLE TO SEE. So either an Amish community is in your future or you grow to love these transgender lesbians we got for ya!

    These people all have generational wealth . They are in it for the long haul. They will endure your boycotts because with each successive generation, they manage to pick off more of you. There is a reason the United States , which has turned against God by embracing sodomite “marriage” does NOT figure in the end times prophecies of the Bible. It doesn’t measure up and won’t ever do so.

  6. There’s a famous moment in my other favorite 80s movie (after Indy) Big in which the marketing exec is going on and on about how their new toy can’t miss. Tom Hanks shyly raises his hand and asks “What’s fun about it?”

  7. We saw the latest Indiana Jones movie this weekend and truly enjoyed it. It was fun…and great to see the story come full circle.

  8. I loved IJDOD! I plan on watching it again. It was a lot of fun. I don’t understand all this bashing. I for one totally disagree with this review. The snobbery and arrogant perspective of this pan means nothing to me. It was simply realistic of them to deal with the age element of the 40 year old character.

  9. Sadly, the woke NPC’s who inhabit Hollywood and seem to be the only people who can get a writer or directors contract, are incapable of understanding who the audience is for these kind of adventure movies. Parents buy tickets for kids, and many will not let their children go to a movie where masculinity is attacked. There was a time when strong women heroes were watchable like the Aliens franchise. Ripley was a strong woman, but she was a woman and desired strong men. She didn’t push the strong men out of the way, should took up the mantle only after there was no one left, and she saved a child a motherly thing to do. There is reason the ancient classics resonate even today. They portrayed men and women in the natural roles and only step out of those rolls when the story requires it.
    A return to the natural order is inevitable or the society will crumble, and new creators of culture will return to sanity.

    1. What movies are being made today that attack masculinity? I’ve never seen any. Aliens was a terrible movie. It started all of this wokeness. Female lead.

    2. Albert,

      Aliens has always been considered a woke movie because of its female lead. Most conservatives know this. Are you a liberal?

  10. Umm … I thought the Indy franchise was turned over to Shia LeBouf in the last one. Wasn’t he supposed to have taken the baton from Indy in that movie?
    As long as Kennedy is in charge of Star Wars, nothing good will happen. I agree with John Nolte that Favreau should take over that franchise.
    Oh, but wait, rumor has it that there’s a Rey series in the works! Oooh, goodie!

  11. Disney keeps making movies where fans are on alert to avoid, DO NOT SEE. This is not how movies are supposed to be marketed. Thus far, only Guardians 3 did not get the backlash, yet it barely broke even and $175 million short of $1 Billion. People don’t want to see movies from a hypocritical pe-do sympathizer who believes in cancel culture that helped to get himself fired and then hypocritically rehired.

    Stop making Woke movies. The Marvels is the next movie to be avoided. Good job Disney.

    1. I saw the new Indy movie? There is nothing woke about it. It just wasn’t a great film. The quality of the film had nothing to do with wokeness. But that won’t stop this site from trying to make everyone believe that is the reason for its failure. You guys are obsessed with the woke narrative. It lives rent free in your head.

      1. Not “woke”, but pushing the woke girl-boss action-hero nonsense.

        And it made Indy a failure at EVERYTHING in his life.

      2. Yeah, saw it yesterday (with resignation that the above would figure in), but it wasn’t an issue. Actual problems include things like really weird plot holes, a very uneven style, maybe 30 min more chase scene footage than wanted let alone needed, other pacing issues throughout, character arcs that were kind of attempted but not really used, characters that were included but not really used, and some painful examples of dialog.

        Yeah, it was goofy fun and rather sweet in its decrepit way. But not the proper retirement party for Indy.

      3. Yup. An interminable chase all over creation in souped up golf carts really killed whatever anticipation and suspense was left of the plot. Best part of the film was the clever street urchin, ( I guess he was supposed to be the female’s brother ?) who showed more savvy than the two adults put together.

      4. I guess you haven’t noticed that “woke narratives” have cost Disney at least a BILLION dollars in losses and a destruction of the goodwill it had built up over the last 90 years.

        But….that’s immaterial to you. Typical prog.

      5. Uh, no, they weren’t referring to Indy’s age as to the wokeism.
        I guess you missed the parts where theivery was defined as capitalism, Indy being berated through the entire movie for being a miserable human being, a thief, alcoholic, divorcee with no real purpose and upstaged by a “daring, beautiful, resourceful and self sufficient,” woman.
        Nothing wrong with those attributes, but here clearly designed as a dig at the white man.
        Indiana is now basically, completely incompetent and of no use without Helena and we are supposed to cheer for a
        snarky, bitter, narcissistic man hater.
        Geez, if you can’t see through the agenda here I would recommend you NEVER drive when it’s foggy outside.

      6. Dan, you might not have noticed it, but I guarantee that Disney has.
        A once VERY profitable company lost $120 BILLION.
        BILLION Dan.
        There’s your proof.

      7. Maybe. Doesn’t matter. Star Wars was enough for me. I’ll come back when House Kennedy falls. Probably when she passes of old age, as she seems impervious to failure on any scale.

      8. Geez Dan, who is Kennedy. This question explains why you asked for proof of Disney failing.
        Since Kathleen Kennedy took over, they’ve list hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars.

      9. No, Hollywood is obsessed with the wokeness. Maybe you missed it Dave, but the creators and execs at Disney and Lucasfilm openly admitted to pushing an agenda. They also said if we fans couldn’t accept their agenda then we were childish.
        So, let’s get it right Dave. Nothing living rent free in my head. This is THEIR words. If you don’t believe me go back and read or watch the interviews with Kennedy and Waller-Bridge.

  12. All the woke and anti-woke media are missing the reason I think this got such a poor reception, the very premise just isn’t what we want from an Indiana Jones flick. We want a 1940s adventure to go find historical artifacts. This is a genre that Indy pioneered, but in the last two installments has been better executed elsewhere, as this franchise decided to switch to aliens and time travelers.

    I like aliens and time travelers, I just don’t like them in Indiana Jones.

  13. Have you actually watched the movie? Indiana Jones, despite his old age, is anything but a damsel in distress and is clearly the primary hero. No woke agenda here. A good movie. A clever way to have an 80-year old actor play in an action movie. But ultimately it is about an 80-year old actor in an action film, and audiences have a hard time with that. Sad, but understandable. Nothing very woke there however.

      1. And every trustworthy person interested in the movie has already seen it. It’s losing a fortune because the House of Mouse hates its customers.

      2. Because Walt, they’ve called us childish and deplorables because we didn’t want to accept the major changes to our long held dear heroes.
        They openly admitted to completely rewriting in a different agenda and when fans complained, they called us names.

    1. Uh, no, they weren’t referring to Indy’s age as to the wokeism.
      I guess you missed the parts where theivery was defined as capitalism, Indy being berated through the entire movie for being a miserable human being, a thief, alcoholic, divorcee with no real purpose and upstaged by a “daring, beautiful, resourceful and self sufficient,” woman.
      Nothing wrong with those attributes, but here clearly designed as a dig at the white man.
      Indiana is now basically, completely incompetent and of no use without Helena and we are supposed to cheer for a
      snarky, bitter, narcissistic man hater.
      Geez, if you can’t see through the agenda here I would recommend you NEVER drive when it’s foggy outside.

      1. Agree with the sentiment, but perhaps you should get your eye prescription renewed if you just referred to the leading woman in this movie as “beautiful”.

  14. Big fan of the first 3 and saw all of them in the theater. I won’t see this one. I’m not quite as old as Ford, but pushing it up there and don’t want to see him shuffle about like an old man. If I want to see that, I’ll look in the mirror. Thanks, Disney for destroying another franchise. What’s left? Howard the Duck?

  15. I’ve been a fan of James Mangold’s movies going back to the ’90s when he first got started. It’s unbelievable the way he went on Twitter and insulted Indiana Jones fans who dared to voice their concerns about this movie. What is it about working for Disney that seems to turn actors and filmmakers into fan-hating pod people?

    1. Because they could give a rat’s arse about you deplorables. That is because they group all “deplorables” people as those that just want stories to stay true to their original beloved characters past loved behaviors.

      They are old money people that need to be pushed out on the street on their derrières to be replaced by new money people that realize the ultimate importance of entertaining the majority masses with the thematic plots, characters and elements they love to see and spend their hard earned money to keep coming back for more.

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