Disney has been off to a rough start this year. First, its theme parks were greatly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic with some locations being completely shut down.
Then, its Fox-produced / Harrison Ford-led Call of the Wild flopped spectacularly at the box office taking somewhere between a $50-100 million loss. Following that along with ho-hum Disney Plus numbers, Disney CEO Bob Iger unexpectedly resigned.
And now, Disney/Pixar’s latest animated offering Onward has not only underperformed at the box office, but has been outright banned in several countries. Not to mention the film sparked a copyright lawsuit.
Needless to say, Onward has been another downward spiraling headache for the company that probably has more headaches to come with choppy financial waters ahead due to an economy that is not going to prioritize the kind of entertainment Disney has to offer (especially at the prices Disney has to offer them).
On paper, Onward‘s $40 million domestic box office haul might look good to novice analysts. It’s no Toy Story, or even Sonic the Hedgehog for that matter, but it’s still enough to take the top spot for the week.
But for Pixar, that is an astonishingly low number, on par with its other box office bomb The Good Dinosaur. Factor in a budget that is probably close to $200 million before marketing, and it spells disaster. Coronavirus fears have undoubtedly been a factor, especially for its international numbers.
With that threat, Onward desperately needed to be in as many theaters as possible in as many countries as possible to have any hope of breaking even – but following its ban in many Arab countries, the likelihood of simply breaking even looks all but impossible at this juncture.