Another day, another flop for Disney that came as the result of its merger with Fox last year. Harrison Ford's The Call of the Wild has been in theaters for a couple of weeks now and, even though it has done a little better than expected at the box office, it's not going to be enough to save this one from being a financial disaster. The expensive, family-friendly wilderness flick about a man and his dog is set to lose somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 million in theaters.
According to a new report, The Call of the Wild is expected to lose $50 million, unless something dramatic changes. At present, the Jack London adaptation has grossed $45.8 million domestically to go along with $33.4 million from international markets. That gives it a grand total of $79.2 million which might otherwise be fine, but the CGI-heavy movie, which sees Harrison Ford going on a grand adventure with a CGI dog named Buck, cost $125 million to produce. That's superhero movie money. It's estimated that the adaptation needs to bring in between $250 and $275 million globally just to break even. At this point, that seems like a long shot at best.
Directed by Chris Sanders (How to Train Your Dragon, Lilo & Stitch), with Harrison Ford leading his first non-Star Wars movie in years, this had a lot going for it on paper. But the folks at 20th Century Fox, now 20th Century Studios under the Disney regime, overspent on this one, making it tough to recoup that massive budget. Critics have been somewhat mixed on The Call of the Wild, as it currently boasts 62 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences have been far more kind though, as the audience rating sits at 89 percent, while the movie also comes with A- CinemaScore.
Ever since the $71.3 billion purchase of most of Fox last year, Disney has suffered a string of flops that were produced by the studio. X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Stuber, The Art of Racing in the Rain, Underwater and even well-liked movies such as the animated Spies In Disguise have all underperformed at the box office in a big way. With that, it's not surprising that Disney axed most of Fox's development slate last year. 20th Century Studios will be decreasing its output to around four movies per year and the focus will shift to seemingly more surefire bets. For better or for worse, Disney knows how to produce a hit.
Disney had a record-setting year at the box office in 2019, taking in more than $10 billion, a record that may never again be broken. They were able to shoulder these box office bombs as a result. One has to wonder how much trouble 20th Century Fox would be in had they not agreed to a sale and had still been operating independently with this disastrous slate. This news comes to us via Variety.