Disney Won’t Have a Billion-Dollar Movie in 2023

Written by on November 28, 2023

(IGN) – After Wish’s underwhelming opening this past weekend, the spotlight is on Disney once again and the rough year this once-incredibly reliable brand has had.

To specify, as Variety pointed out in a recent analysis of this troubling box office streak, Disney looks primed to end 2023 without a single movie crossing the $1 billion mark. To be clear, that $1 billion mark is not an easy one to cross – only two movies, Barbie and The Super Mario Bros. Movie, have done it yet this year – but that used to nearly be a given for Disney.

We’re not going to count 2020 and 2021, which were wildly abnormal years for the box office amid COVID-19 lockdowns, but going back to pre-pandemic times, Disney had a whopping seven billion-dollar hits in 2019. Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame, the live-action Aladdin and The Lion King, Toy Story 4, Frozen 2, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (which didn’t cross $1 billion until early 2020, but was released at the end of 2019) all achieved the milestone, leading Disney to break its own record of worldwide annual gross.

At the end of last year, Disney had one billion-dollar movie in Avatar: The Way of Water, which grossed a whopping $2.3 billion worldwide. But as Variety points out, excluding pandemic years, 2023 will mark the first time since 2014 that Disney will fail to have a movie cross the $1 billion threshold.

Especially painful is the fact that this year marks Disney’s 100th anniversary – so perhaps symbolic that it should find itself as a crossroads a century in.

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