Industry NewsOpinion

‘Haunted Mansion’ Makes Disney’s Bummer Summer Worse

Reboot of Mouse House IP can't compete with 'Barbie,' 'Oppenheimer'

Disney should send James Gunn a cookie bouquet, stat.

The writer/director gave the studio a springtime smash with “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” a film that lived up to the MCU hype with $358 million stateside.

That sequel is proving the exception to the new Disney rule.

The studio that could once do no wrong is struggling to maintain that reputation. Last year, “Lightyear” and “Strange World” seriously underperformed, costing the studio millions. Now, summer blockbusters like “Elemental” and “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” are under-performing dramatically.

Add “Haunted Mansion” to the list.

Disney's Haunted Mansion | New Trailer

The reboot of the 2003 film is looking at a $25 million opening weekend, roughly the same as the first time around. Except ticket prices 20 years ago were roughly $6, far less than what a single ticket will set you back today.

Plus, the second “Mansion’s” price tag soared to a reported $150 million. That doesn’t include the exorbitant marketing costs.

“Haunted Mansion” doesn’t lack for star power, featuring LaKeith Stanfield, Tiffany Haddish, Rosario Dawson, Owen Wilson and Danny DeVito.

The film’s weak opening made it ripe for second guessing.

It’s also another body blow to the Mouse House. Disney may be selling off some of its prized assets, and its bulletproof franchises are looking rickety at the moment.

The Indiana Jones saga requires a massive reboot, one that will have to happen without its iconic leading man. Harrison Ford recently turned 81.

We haven’t seen a new “Star Wars” movie since 2019, and nothing related to the saga is coming to the big screen either this year or next. Plus, every few months we hear of a new “Star Wars”-themed film but they often fail to clear the runway.


Pixar, which once cranked out hit after hit, can no longer pull off that feat. Chances are the proposed “Toy Story 5” will reverse that sour trend. What if it underwhelms at the box office, too?

Even the company’s live-action remakes aren’t bringing in as much cash as before. “Little Mermaid” earned an impressive $300 million stateside but flopped overseas.

Marvel Studios' The Marvels | Official Trailer

Plenty of hope rides on “The Marvels,” the quasi-sequel to 2019’s box office smash “Captain Marvel.” Except its November release date may not last long. Multiple studios are pushing debut dates into 2024 due to the dueling Hollywood strikes.

Even worse?

The company’s public attack on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and aggressive woke makeover left many diehard Mickey Mouse fans disillusioned, and that’s putting it gently.

The company’s family-friendly brand took a direct hit as storytellers inserted gender themes into Disney content.

This year can’t end soon enough for Team Disney.


  1. How many sequels do they expect us to watch? We all know how the Mission Impossible movies will end – Ethan saves the day/world. Same for the Indiana Jones saga, etc.

  2. I’m sure the industry rags will trot out the old “Well, people are waiting to stream it on Disney-Plus” excuse. Or the laughable “well, people are still scared to go to theaters because of the Wuhan Virus” excuse.
    Yeah, right.

  3. Guardians 3 didn’t make enough to be profitable. It barely broke even with $830 million. After seeing it, it didn’t exactly work as the conclusion of a trilogy. It was already broken.

    1. @PP

      As a rule, a movie is profitable if its gross is three times its budget. So, Guardians 3 would be profitable since its current gross of $844.9 million globally is more triple that of its $250 million budget:

      Blockbusters from rival studios like Fast X (Paramount) and Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning – Part 1 (Paramount) would kill to have done as well as GOTG Vol. 3. To make matters worse, those films have budgets around $300 million.

      You can dislike Disney, but still admit that GOTG Vol. 3 is a legitimate hit.

      1. Nope, you need to include marketing costs which is estimated to be $150m. Combined $400m minimum to breakeven. Box office mojo shows $844.9 million gross revenue with $359 million domestic and $486 million foreign. Domestic percentage cut for studios is 50%. Foreign percentage range from 25% in China to 40% in Europe. For simplicity, 40% will be used for foreign cut for Disney.
        Domestic = $179.5 million.
        Foreign = $194.4 million.
        Total Guardians 3 revenue to Disney = $373.9 million. Just short of $400 million.

      2. It should be clear that Disney movies are designed to be blockbusters. They are all budgeted at over $200 million and have marketing at over $100 million. They are supposed to break $1 Billion each. Based on this benchmark, every movie was a failure except for Spider-man, which is a joint Sony Production and Avatar, which James Cameron has full independence from Disney. Guardians 3 didn’t do as well as Dr Strange Multiverse of Madness at $955 million.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button