No, ‘wokeness’ isn’t why ‘Strange World’ flopped at the box office

Image via Walt Disney Animation Studios

Strange World is on track to turn into one of Disney’s biggest box office bombs in the company’s history, and there are heated arguments going on as to why the animated film has had such a disastrous reception.

There’s a corner of the internet which in pinning the film’s failure on the fact that Strange World features an openly gay character in Ethan Clade, because of course there is. 

The more obvious and common sense answer to why Strange World is bombing is that the film received little to no marketing ahead of its holiday weekend release. As someone who writes about the entertainment industry as my 9-5, even I’ve admittedly heard little to nothing about this film.

Granted, the film isn’t particularly a runaway success as far as audiences and critics who have gotten around to it are concerned, but it’s definitely not terrible. With a critic score of 74 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and an audience score of 61 percent, it certainly doesn’t paint a picture of a hundred-million-dollar box office bomb. 

Many have been quick to point the finger at Disney for burying the company’s first true LGBTQ+ representation milestone.

Disney’s reasoning behind the minimal effort the company put into marketing Strange World remains unclear. Still, one can’t help but raise an eyebrow considering this should have been a huge leap for the world’s biggest studio as far as representation is concerned.

Of course, the minds behind the film didn’t want the character in question, Ethan Clade, to be reduced to his sexuality

Perhaps it may well boil down to Disney’s evident lack of focus on animated projects, instead keeping its eyes on big-budget live-action spectacles. 

The film’s poor performance doesn’t bode well for other animations the company is supposed to be working on, including Spider-Man: Freshman Year, but it ultimately has itself to blame for not allocating an appropriate advertising budget for a film that cost $180 million to make. 

At the time of writing, Strange World is on track to make a loss of well over $100 million, having made a meager $18.6 million during its first five days in cinemas