Not even Disney is immune to flops, it seems, as according to recent reports, The Call of the Wild is set to lose the Mouse House roughly $50 million. With a budget of $125 million, the movie needed to at least double that figure to break even and through two weeks of release, the Harrison Ford film has earned only $79.2 million.
Why this pic needed to cost as much as it did is a mystery. From looking at the trailer, it appears that most if not all of the animals, including Buck, the faithful companion to Ford’s character, are entirely CG. And it’s distracting just watching the trailer, so I can’t imagine sitting through the entire movie.
What a film earns is all relative, though. The Call of the Wild had a decent opening weekend for February (just under $25 million) and a 47% drop in its second weekend is better than usual. The reviews are also pretty solid, with a 62 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. But again, it comes down to the budget.
It also doesn’t help that The Call of the Wild has yet to be released in Asian markets like China and Japan. After all, due to the coronavirus, many public places, including theaters, have been closed. It’ll be interesting to see how long this goes on for as well, particularly for a movie like Mulan, which has been delayed in China indefinitely. The outbreak is also affecting storytelling, as The Falcon and the Winter Soldier may need to be rewritten now.
In any case, Disney is coming off of their most successful year at the box office, as several movies earned more than $1 billion in 2019, thanks in large part to Marvel and Lucasfilm. While 2020 probably won’t be quite as lucrative, they’ve still got a few guaranteed hits, but obviously the tepid box office performance of The Call of the Wild isn’t a great start to the new year.