The Walt Disney Company was expecting big things from their latest animated movie “Strange World,” the House of Mouse’s first movie to feature an openly gay teen relationship. Disney enlisted high-profile Hollywood celebrities for voice roles, including Jake Gyllenhaal, Gabrielle Union, Lucy Liu, and Dennis Quaid. Disney released “Strange World” during the extended Thanksgiving weekend – when Hollywood launches some of its most anticipated movies. However, early box office results show that “Strange World” is a flop.
“Strange World” made its world premiere on Wednesday, but Disney decided not to release the animated movie in more than 20 countries “where its LGBTQ+ content would have very likely forced demands for edits,” according to Deadline.
The movie stars 27-year-old Jaboukie Young-White – who is best known for being a correspondent on “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.” Young-White voices a character named “Jaeger” – a gay 16-year-old who has a “boy crush” on another boy named “Daizo.”
Variety described a scene from the Disney movie, “Walt Disney screened three sequences from ‘Strange World.’ In the first, Ethan flirts with heartthrob Diazo while friends from school look on, teasing in a friendly and warm-hearted way. Much to Ethan’s chagrin, his dad Searcher soon joins in, embarrassing his son with an overeager show of acceptance.”
“Strange World” has struggled at the box office since opening this week.
“After a rocky $4.2 million opening day on Wednesday, the film collected $2.4 million from 4,174 North American theaters on Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday,” according to Variety. “With its two-day total at $6.7 million, weekend estimates for ‘Strange World’ have been revised slightly. Now, the movie is expected to end the five-day frame with roughly $26 million, which is still a dismal result given its $180 million production budget.”
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” which has been in movie theaters since Nov. 11, raked in $8.1 million on Thanksgiving, and is expected to make up to $63 million over the five-day period.
Variety noted, “To compare, Disney’s musical fantasy ‘Encanto’ collected $40.3 million over the extended holiday frame in 2021. And box office watchers were kinder when it came to assessing those ticket sales because, at the time, young kids were still getting vaccinated for the first time.”
The outlet added that previous Disney movies released during Thanksgiving “enjoyed significantly bigger opening weekends,” including 2019’s “Frozen II” with $123.7 million, 2018’s “Ralph Breaks the Internet” at $84.6 million, and 2017’s “Coco” with $71 million.
If the sorry box office figures weren’t disastrous enough, “Strange World” is the lowest-rated Disney movie in 31 years.
“Strange World” was given a “B” rating from CinemaScore – a market research firm that surveys audiences to rate movies. CinemaScore began rating Disney animated movies in 1991 with “Beauty and the Beast,” and all of the Walt Disney Animation Studios films have earned a rating of at least “A-,” according to ScreenRant.
Over the summer, Disney’s “Lightyear” was also a flop at the box office following a woke decision to include a lesbian kissing scene in the cartoon movie aimed at children.