Disney’s new film, Strange World, had all of the ingredients of a box office hit — star-studded cast, stunning animation and a tear-jerking script. But the entertainment company’s newest animated movie is slated to tank in theaters. And according to Your Tango, Disney may be behind the reason why.
The film, which stars A-list celebrities like Jake Gyllenhaal, Dennis Quaid, Gabrielle Union and Lucy Liu, follows a family of explorers who embark on an important mission that challenges the group. The ensemble cast, which also included Jaboukie Young-White as Ethan Clade, Disney’s first openly gay lead character in a movie, sparked promise and growth at Disney. The company has faced criticisms in recent years for its lack of diversity across creeds, and Strange World seemed like the mark of a big, much-anticipated, change at Disney.
The only problem? No one heard of Strange World.
This movie was no where to be found on social media and more traditional media channels. Few people knew the movie was coming out. Many Disney fans noted on Twitter they hadn’t heard of the movie.
“I didn’t even know this was out? They barely promoted this,” one user wrote in a viral tweet.
I didn’t even know this was out? They barely promoted this
Plus, conservatives who heard of Strange World were not happy about one of it’s protagonists being gay. They quickly deemed the movie as “woke” and condemned its plot as a means of uplifting “the woke agenda.”
Their criticisms of the film provided the perfect opportunity for Disney. Now, they could use their opinions as the reason the film tanked, rather than their marketing plan (or lack thereof). Though Disney did a slightly better job of promoting Lightyear, the Buzz Lightyear standalone film released earlier this year, that movie faced a similar outcome as Strange World.
Strange World released in theaters on November 23, 2022, and had a disappointing opening weekend. The film raked up $18.6 million domestically — a droplet when compared to its sea of a budget, $180 million.
One Twitter user, Jordan Woodson, called it even before Strange World came out.
“Disney is 100% going to blame STRANGE WORLD’s inevitable bad box office on the fact that there’s an openly gay character in the movie when in reality, it’s going to flop because they didn’t market it at all,” he penned. “They’ll use this as an excuse to not have queer rep ever again,” he tweeted.
Disney is 100% going to blame STRANGE WORLD's inevitable bad box office on the fact that there's an openly gay character in the movie when in reality, it's going to flop because they didn't market it at all. They'll use this as an excuse to not have queer rep ever again. pic.twitter.com/diD7It4Bk4