On paper, a $120 million fantasy blockbuster produced by Disney that had staked out a prime November release date seems like a slam dunk, especially when you factor in a stacked ensemble that included Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman, Richard E. Grant and more.
Throw in a trio of established talents tackling the project, which saw three-time Academy Award nominee Lasse Hallström share a directorial credit with Captain America: The First Avenger and Jumanji‘s Joe Johnston after the latter helmed 32 days of reshoots with pages that were rewritten by Oscar-winning Spotlight scribe Tom McCarthy, and there was surely no other option for The Nutcracker and the Four Realms other than success.
As it turns out, the opposite was the case, due in no small part to the fact the movie was fairly terrible. A lavish and extravagant exercise in tedium, the film is a brief sugar rush of abject nothingness, and everyone was in complete agreement about that given the Rotten Tomatoes critic and user scores sit at a respective 32% and 34%.
A $174 million take at the box office saw it bomb hard, and it wouldn’t be unfair to suggest that The Nutcracker and the Four Realms has almost been completely forgotten about already, just three years after release. However, it’s beginning to make a comeback on streaming as we approach Christmas, with FlixPatrol revealing that it’s currently in the ascendancy on the Disney Plus most-watched list.