Unfortunately for creative types and lovers of bold, original cinema, the evidence doesn’t add up in support of original projects for big movie studios looking to rake in the dollars. Tomorrowland is just one example of an original new idea that Disney took a risk on only to have the company’s tactic of making an endless cycle of remakes and sequels confirmed as the best way to go. While this is bad for cinematic creativity, it seems to be good for Disney’s bottom line. Here’s a look at some of the company’s biggest flops.
Tomorrowland comes from the creative mind of Pixar’s Brad Bird, who was responsible for The Incredibles and Ratatouille, and stars George Clooney. Given that talent, there was high expectations for the film, but it got lackluster reviews that said despite the incredible visuals, the film suffers from uneven storytelling. It has a mediocre 50% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Tomorrowland has made $93.4 million domestically and $115.2 million in international markets for a total of over $208.6 million on a budget of $190 million. The analysts who spoke with THR estimated that Disney dropped an additional $150 million on marketing for the film, so the company isn’t going to come close to covering its costs on this movie. Still, one can’t fault Disney for taking the chance with a director like Bird and a star like Clooney, even in a current climate that doesn’t seem to support big-budget original projects.