On paper, Tomorrowland had all of the ingredients to be a major success for Disney, one with the potential to launch yet another lucrative franchise based on the Mouse House’s most iconic theme park attractions, but it wasn’t to be.
Brad Bird had made a seamless transition into live-action filmmaking with Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, and he was back at the studio where he’d helmed animated classics The Incredibles and Ratatouille. Throw in a high concept premise about a teenage girl who discovers a futuristic fantasy world and looks to uncover its secrets, as well as George Clooney’s first appearance in a big budget studio blockbuster since Batman & Robin, and excitement was high.
Unfortunately, Tomorrowland bombed hard. So hard, in fact, that it was cited as the reason why Disney stalled on giving the green light to a third TRON movie, another expensive and effects-driven genre property that was viewed as a risky commercial proposition. With a budget estimated to be in the $180 million range, Bird’s passion project could only muster $209 million at the box office, ending up in the red to the tune of $150 million.
It’s gained something of a reputation as an unsung cult favorite in the six years since, though, but Tomorrowland has now mysteriously vanished from the Disney Plus library. It’s very unusual for the platform to remove a Disney owned and branded title for what appears to be no reason, but subscribers will hardly be launching furious petitions demanding its instant reinstatement.