Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny came in on the low end of projections with just $60 million.
It seems nostalgia is not the money maker it once was as the latest film based on a decades old property has come and bombed pretty hard as Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny has come in on the lower end of projections with an estimated $60 million. If a movie like No Hard Feelings or even Pixar’s Elemental had opened in that range, we would be singing their praises, but for a property like Indiana Jones which carries a reported near $300 million budget, that number is, quite frankly, horrible.
That puts this opening in Flash territory, and this movie actually cost $70 million more than that film. When The Flash was released a few weeks ago and massively under-performed, there were a myriad of reasons we could point out as to why that happened such as the stars off-screen behavior to the current slate of DC movies not mattering. But what could have possibly kept audiences away from one of the most enduring franchises of all time? Well, Disney may have put too much faith into this one by premiering it at Cannes where the reception was not what the mouse house had wanted. Even our own Editor in Chief Chris Bumbray found Indy’s latest adventure to not be up to snuff saying it felt like just another middle of the road would be blockbuster.
This will ultimately be another case of a movie that could have been a modest hit had the studio kept its budget down. As I have said these past few weeks: these studios need to start reigning in these massive budgets. How can any movie not directed by James Cameron ever be successful if it needs to crack a billion in order to see any sort of profit? It just isn’t feasible. The good news for Dial of Destiny is that it nabbed a B+ Cinemascore with an 89% audience score, which is up slightly from Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’s B Cinemascore and up pretty substantially from its 53% audience score, and that movie was able to secure $790.6 million world wide. Of course that film “only” cost $185 million. The bad news is that the next few weeks see some pretty massive films opening with Mission: Impossible- Dead Reckoning Part 1 currently tracking to have the best opening of the series while Barbie and Oppenheimer are also tracking strong for their opening weekend’s the week after. The simple fact is: this is a summer where big openings matter, and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny didn’t have one.
Coming in second place is Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse with a reported $11.5 million. This film is having an amazing run at theaters with minimal drops week to week and a $339.8 million domestic total. Quite frankly: people love this movie and are spending the money to take their families to the theater to see it. I said it a few weeks back and I will say it again: Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse will be this years Best Animated Film winner (and if I’m wrong, no one will remember this post, so win-win!)
Third place belongs to Elemental, although that third place finish isn’t by much as it managed a solid $11.3 million, off just 39% from last week. Despite its slow start, this one is garnering strong word of mouth and should net a solid final tally, as long as Disney doesn’t try and rush it to their streaming service too soon.
Fourth place belongs to the Jennifer Lawrence fronted R rated comedy No Hard Feelings with a second weekend of $7.5 million, off just 50% from its opening last week. I don’t think this film will be the behemoth other R rated comedies were in their heydays (The Hangover reached $277.3 million domestic while films like Step Brothers, Tropic Thunder and American Pie all cleared $100 million) but with a steady stream of business, this actually pretty good movie should leg out to a respectable finish. And that is in the face of the apparent controversy the film has faced because some people without senses of humor have deemed the premise of this movie as inappropriate.
Fifth place is rounded out by the talking robots of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts with an additional $7 million added to its $136.1 million domestic total. That number puts this seventh Transformer adventure well above the last two autobot adventures (Bumblebee topped out with $127.1 million while The Last Knight hit $130.1 million domestic) while still a ways away from the franchises heyday when the first three films cleared the $300 million mark (Revenge of the Fallen actually passed the $400 million mark.) Of course when we get back down to the dollars and cents of it, this Transformers adventure still cost around $200 million to make before marketing, so even with its foreign grosses which are around $220 million as of right now, I’;m not sure this one will be considered a success. But it is rebuilding confidence in the franchise and that may see solid returns on further big screen adventures.
Just missing out on the top five is the new animated adventure Ruby Gillman: Teenage Kraken with a paltry $5.2 million. The film quite simply got swallowed by an over-saturated market for animated films right now. For average movie goers who get to the theater and buy their tickets, if Spider-Man seemed a bit too action packed for your kids, you had the familiarity of a Pixar movie to choose. I have said it all week and I will say it again: there was a stretch of time between January and March when the market had only Puss in Boots: The Last Wish in theaters after its December release. Had Universal/ Dreamworks got Ruby Gillman out into theaters in that stretch, I don’t think it would have hit blockbuster numbers, but it would have certainly commanded something better than the $5.2 million it is seeing this weekend.
The remainder of the top ten belong to films such as The Little Mermaid which is proving to be quite the hit stateside with an additional $5.15 million added to its impressive $280.9 million domestic sum. Of course in a bit of a rarity, the film has not caught on outside the states, and with a $250 million budget before marketing, it may be able to eke out a few cents of profit, but is certainly not the billion dollar hit that Disney is used to with these live action remakes.
Coming in eighth place is The Flash, shedding another 67% of its audience with just $5 million and an unimpressive $99.2 million domestic total. I don’t think anyone thought this movie still wouldn’t be at the $100 million mark after three weeks of release. As I mentioned above, there are a million reasons this film could have failed to catch on with audiences and I’m sure over the coming months we will see a million articles analyzing those reason. Ninth place belongs to Wes Anderson and his quirky comedy Asteroid City with an additional $3.8 million and a running total of $18.1 million. While that number puts the film above Anderson’s previous effort: The French Dispatch ($16.1 million domestic total) it is a ways away from his 2014 Best Picture nominated film The Grand Budapest Hotel ($59.3 million). I saw this one earlier this week, and while I did enjoy it for the most part, I left the theater trying to figure out exactly what it was I just saw! Although perhaps that is the point of any movie, to keep it on your mind long after you have left the theater.
Giving a bit of juxtaposition, the final entry in the top ten this week is another final film of a franchise, but this one many believe actually stuck the landing as Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 grabbed an additional $1.8 million to bring its domestic total to a healthy $354.8 million, with its global total nearing the $900 million mark.
Did you make it to theaters this weekend? If so, what did you see (and how was it?) Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to take our weekly poll where we ask: What is your favorite Indiana Jones movie?