Which films lost the most money in Hollywood in 2023?

Which films lost the most money in Hollywood in 2023?

The Marvels, The Flash, Wish, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny… The vintage was (very) bad for Disney and superhero films…

In retrospect, the biggest hits both at the box office and critically in 2023 are a no-brainer. At the first position proudly stands the tall blond doll from Mattel with around 1 billion 445 dollars, closely followed by two little mustachioed men in overalls with more than 1 billion 362 dollars in revenue and the father of the atomic bomb in third place. position with just under a billion. Barbie, Super Mario Bros., the movie And Oppenheimer dominated everything up to the ceremonies. But what about the biggest failures?

Mega-budgets and mini-profits: Just one big 2023 blockbuster expected to make money at the box office

Like every year, the American media Deadline reveals a list of the highest-grossing and lowest-grossing Hollywood films. While Disney and Marvel usually dominate in the first category, for the 2023 vintage, these are among the least profitable films that they find themselves with four films for the studios which were still celebrating their hundred years of magic. Only Marvel exceptions: Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 And Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (produced by Sony).

Broke superheroes

At the top of the ranking is the shortest film in the MCU. With The Marvels, Disney reports a loss of $237 million. A figure which is not surprising when we know that in France, the combined story of Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel and Monica Rambo only recorded 49,000 admissions during its first day of operation – becoming the worst French start for an MCU film.

What is The Marvels, the shortest film in the MCU, worth? (critical)

How to explain this failure? Two theories have arisen among the others. The first being the connection between the different formats – series/films – allowing the understanding of The Marvels. Young heroine Kamala Khan comes from the series Ms. Marvelfar from being as popular with fans as Loki Or WandaVision.

For others, the flop comes from the fact that the film is based on three heroines in a universe adored by men. A reason based on a sexist argument which excludes the historical success of Captain Marvel.

On the other side of the heroic landscape, DC studios recorded the second failure in this ranking with The Flash. It must be said that the film had nothing going for it at first glance: an expensive production of 200 million dollars taking longer than expected and a main star, Ezra Millerarrested several times for violent behavior, keeping a low profile during promotion.

Result, an international box office reaching only 271 million and a loss of around 155 million dollars. In the end, the reviews are mixed…

Did DC's new strategy cause The Flash to flop?

The magic of Disney broken down

Since the end of the pandemic, Disney studios have adapted a strategy focused on streaming and massive content development. A tactic which showed its limits last year.

After the public failure from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in 2008, winner of the Razzie Award for worst sequel, was it prudent to send the archaeologist with the whip and Fedora to the other side of the world in one last adventure? A priori, No. Riding on nostalgia, Indiana Jones and the Clock of Destiny was the opportunity for Harrison Ford to play his character years later. And despite the qualities of the film, spectators are not rushed into theaters.

With costly post-production – particularly due to the special effects involved in the technological rejuvenation of the 81-year-old actor for a long flashback – losses amounted to $143 million. Indy hangs up his hat with a hell of a debt…

By doing too much, Disney didn't raise enough. Wish – Asha and the lucky star celebrates the centenary of one of the greatest American studios and machine of childhood memories. But the party quickly turned into a disaster. Far from being as innovative as previous releases from the Mickey Factory were, this animated film crashed at the box office with a loss of $131 million. A film which was obviously not born under a lucky star.

Wish: Disney Christmas 2023 leaves us wanting more (review)

And at the bottom of the ranking, The haunted house, victim of the strike in Hollywood and a walkout in full “Barbenheimer”lost $117 million.

Faced with this series of failures, Disney hopes to quickly get back on track. Its new CEO, Bob Iger declared in November 2023:

Looking at our overall production, i.e. the studio, it is clear that the pandemic has created many creative challenges. I always thought that quantity could actually be a negative factor when it came to quality, and I think that's exactly what happened: we lost focus.”

The businessman remains confident about the future of the studios and is certainly banking on the expected releases of Vice and Versa 2, Moana 2, Mufasa: The Lion King And Deadpool & Wolverine on the superhero side.

Bob Iger analyzes recent Disney and Marvel flops: “I don't want to apologize for making sequels”

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