Disney's 'Wish' Falls

Disney’s Wish Falls Short Over Thanksgiving

Disney’s latest animated venture, “Wish,” intended as a celebration of 100 years of storytelling, faced disappointment at the Thanksgiving box office. Over the five-day holiday period, it secured only $31.6 million, significantly below the anticipated $45 million to $55 million range predicted by analysts. Surprisingly, Lionsgate’s “Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” claimed the top spot with $42.2 million in ticket sales, while Apple and Sony’s “Napoleon,” an R-rated war epic, secured second place with $32.75 million.

This underwhelming performance is unusual for Disney, historically dominating the Thanksgiving box office with top-grossing animated films. However, since the pandemic, Disney has struggled to entice audiences to theaters for its latest features. The company’s focus on padding Disney+ with content and streaming theatrical releases directly during the pandemic has led to confusion among parents about film releases, affecting box office turnout.

Facing competition from streaming giants like Netflix and studios such as Universal, Sony, and Warner Bros., Disney grapples with increased audience selectivity and tight marketing budgets. The release of “Trolls Band Together” just a week before “Wish” is believed to have impacted its ticket sales, contributing to its underperformance.

Despite initial setbacks, Disney remains hopeful for “Wish,” citing the upcoming December holiday season and the potential for success on Disney+ to bolster its fortunes. The company draws parallels to past releases like “Elemental” and “Encanto,” emphasizing the potential for sustained success beyond the initial box office numbers.

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