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No Legs: Disney’s ‘Wish’ Plummets in Week 2

Animated original sinks 64 percent as 'Renaissance' snags box office crown

Disney’s “Elemental” opened poorly earlier this year, suggesting the Mouse House had yet another dud on its hands.

Slowly, the Pixar original lured audiences back to the theater. The film won’t spawn any sequels, but the title scored a modest $154 million at the US box office. Add $341 million in overseas sales, and Team Disney saved itself from another box office debacle.

(Like “The Marvels,” “Haunted Mansion” and “The Creator,” to name just a few)

They call that having “legs” in box office terms. The film legged out a respectable box office tally after a weak start.

That’s not the case with Disney’s “Wish.”

Wish | Official Trailer

The film opened to an anemic $32 million over the five-day Thanksgiving weekend, one of the best times to open a family-friendly film. That came in below even modest estimates for the film, the tale of a heroic young woman (Ariana DeBose) exposing the local king (Chris Pine) as a fraud.

Could the film repeat what “Elemental” did earlier this summer, using word of mouth to leg out a respectable box office score?

Not a chance.

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The film dropped roughly 64 percent in its second frame, coming in fifth for the weekend. It couldn’t defeat “Godzilla Minus One,” a film released on roughly half the number of screens “Wish” had. The movie lacks the buzz to propel it moving forward, and the lackluster critical reaction hasn’t helped.

By the time “Wonka” opens Dec. 15, “Wish” will be lucky to stay in the box office’s top 10 chart.

The team at Film Threat has heard from current and former Disney animators about the film, explaining the behind-the-scenes chaos at Disney that created the troubling status quo.

WHAT WE'RE LEARNING FROM DISNEY’S ANIMATORS | Film Threat Rants

Film Threat writer and podcast co-host Alan Ng, a Disney animation devotee, said “Wish” took less than four months to animate, not even half the time of ‘Strange World.'” That 2022 film proved one of the studio’s biggest recent flops.

“Clearly, there was not enough time to make ‘Wish’ a classic Disney feature,” Ng says, adding the animators often worked overtime (60 hours plus) to get the film completed.

“Every plea the animators gave, the threats of unionization, Disney ignored it,” Ng added.

Film Threat founder Chris Gore explained why disgruntled Disney employees are reaching out to his indie outlet, not other platforms.

“I don’t believe that any of the people reaching out to us trust the mainstream industry trades, like The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Deadline, TheWrap, Indiewire” Gore said.

6 Comments

  1. “Godzilla Minus One” has a budget of $15 million beats both Wish of $200 million and The Marvels of $300 million. Beyonce’s concert film beats them too.

  2. Disney Feature animation artists are all “union” artists already. Repped by the Animation Guild. Been that way for decades. It is the production support staff that recently filed for union representation.

  3. Thanksgiving weekend is prime time to open “family friendly films”…now if only Disney would go back to making them.

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