Tomorrowland

Brad Bird‘s Tomorrowland was always a gamble. Sometimes gambles pay off big, other times they don’t. Now it seems, despite the combination of an Oscar-winning director, a proven box-office star and a high-concept, Disney-approved idea, Tomorrowland will end up losing Disney somewhere around $140 million. Read more about the Tomorrowland box office below.

The Hollywood Reporter reported on the Tomorrowland box office news. According to their piece, the film’s budget was $180 million and marketing cost $150 million. At the moment, the film has grossed $170 million globally, which puts it roughly $160 million in the hole. It still has time to play and open in international markets though, hence the approximate $140 million loss.

So why didn’t the film hit? There are a ton of reasons. Reviews were mixed, adults may have thought the film was a kids movie, and kids may have thought it looked like an adult movie. It opened over the competitive Memorial Day weekend in the U.S. against two surprise hits, Mad Max Fury Road and Pitch Perfect 2. Plus, there’s the sad reality many people don’t take risks when going to a movie anymore. Especially one they don’t hear universally good things about (and, even then, not always).

And really, that’s the worst thing about Tomorrowland’s box office. It’s another potential argument against original content in Hollywood. While I didn’t particularly like the film, many did, and I did like that it tried to be something new and different. On paper, it’s the kind of movie – like a Back to the Future or Star Wars or Ghostbusters – that at the time was original, high concept, and a potential franchise starter. Hopefully, despite the financial disappointment of Tomorrowland, Disney and the other studios still keep trying at least some of these films.

As for Disney, don’t worry about them. This is their first financial disappointment since The Lone Ranger in 2013. Plus they’ve already had Cinderella and Avengers: Age of Ultron hit this year, Inside Out later this month will be big, not to mention Star Wars: The Force Awakens among many others. Their business model allows for the occasional miss.

Do you think history will be kind to Tomorrowland?

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