Last month, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny finally hit theaters, but it opened with around $60 million which is normally considered solid. However, because the film cost over $300 million it really needed to open a lot bigger than that. There’s already been a bunch of opinions about why the film didn’t do well. They range Hollywood’s packed release schedule in June to the film’s mixed reviews and even the negative reception from the previous film. While I don’t think there’s ever one singular reason behind the film’s box office performance, there is one reason that I haven’t seen too many people talk about yet that I feel did play a big part.
Now, Disney acquired the rights to Indiana Jones along with all of LucasFilm back in 2012. So naturally it was expected that they would begin work on a new film. Originally announced to be directed by series co-creator Steven Spielberg the film has been delayed numerous times with multiple different writers coming in and Spielberg eventually leaving and giving the job of director to James Mangold. In all of that time Disney has done absolutely nothing with the franchise. To reiterate, it has been 15 years since the last Indy film came out and 11 years since Disney bought it and Dial of Destiny is the only thing that’s come from it! My point is that Disney didn’t really do a good enough job keeping the franchise in the public consciousness while waiting for the new film.
When you think about Lucasfilm handled Star Wars, constantly releasing new content from comic books to video games and animated series even when there were no movies in production, it’s clear that the same thing could have been done for Indiana Jones. There are children out there who’s introduction to Star Wars more than likely came from stuff like The Mandalorian or The Clone Wars animated series not the films. My nieces and nephew know about Star Wars because of Baby Yoda but if I were to ask them about Indiana Jones they’d have no idea who that is. My point is that if you’re going to make a movie that cost more than $300 million, you’re doing that with the hope that everyone is going to see it. You can’t just rely on the older fans who loved the original that some box office analysts believe are the only ones that showed up.
I know with Indiana Jones there’s the feeling that it can’t be done without Harrison Ford – except it has already been done. It was done in the 90s with The Young Adventures of Indiana Jones. Not only could Disney have done that all these years, they still can. I’ve written once before how I think the franchise could live on as an animated series too, but it could also prosper in the form of a comic book or video game too!
It seems like they realized this too late because at one point there was a video game in development. There haven’t been any updates on it though. There was also rumors of a potential Disney+ series, though with Hollywood at a standstill right now, that’s certainly on the back burner.
It all just proves my point that Disney did not have a plan for the film. Did you know that all of the original films weren’t put on Disney+ until a few weeks before the new film came out? They simply expected fans to flock to it when it came out. That, I feel, is another major reason behind the film underperforming.
Those are just my thoughts on the matter. If you’ve seen Dial of Destiny let us know your thoughts below on why the film didn’t do well or what Disney could’ve done differently.
Now, we wait for it to hit Disney+…