Disney Hits Lowest Box Office Opening For Theme Park Movie Since 2003’s OG Haunted Mansion

Summary

  • Disney’s latest movie adaptation of the Haunted Mansion theme park attraction has had a disappointing opening weekend, earning less than expected at $24-$25 million.
  • This is the second Haunted Mansion film, following the 2003 version with Eddie Murphy, and despite a star-studded cast, it has failed to make a big impact at the box office.
  • While it may surpass the opening weekend of the 2003 movie, Haunted Mansion still ranks as one of Disney’s lowest-performing theme park adaptations, coming after movies like Mission to Mars and The Country Bears.

Haunted Mansion 2023 has given Disney its lowest opening weekend for a movie adapted from a theme park attraction in two decades. The movie, which opened in theaters on July 28, is the second adaptation of the iconic theme park attraction of the same name, which was originally adapted into a movie starring Eddie Murphy in 2003. This new iteration features a star-studded cast that includes Rosario Dawson, LaKeith Stanfield, Tiffany Haddish, Owen Wilson, Danny DeVito, Dan Levy, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Jared Leto.

Per The Hollywood Reporter, the Haunted Mansion box office scored an inauspicious opening, with its 3-day total falling below initial expectations at $24-$25 million. This will either place it slightly under or slightly over the opening weekend of the original 2003 The Haunted Mansion, which earned $24.3 million, not adjusted for inflation. If it ranks higher than the 2003 movie, Haunted Mansion will still have the fourth worst opening of any Disney theme park movie, behind The Haunted Mansion, 2000’s Mission to Mars ($22.9 million), and 2002’s The Country Bears ($5.3 million).

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Why Haunted Mansion is Underperforming at the Box Office

Haunted Mansion is off to a grim start. Considering the fact that it cost $150 million to make, there is every chance that it may not even earn back its production budget, let alone its publicity and advertising budget. In order to be considered profitable at all, it has been estimated that it needs to hit the even higher benchmark of $314 million.

There are a few reasons that the movie is underperforming. The first is the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike, in which actors striking for fair pay are not participating in promotional campaigns for struck productions. The Haunted Mansion premiere saw costumed Disney characters walking its red carpet instead of the movie’s stars, and a lack of publicity over the past two weeks has likely gouged its chances at making a profit, proving how important actors are to selling their projects.

In addition to the strike and having to compete with last weekend’s box office juggernauts Barbie and Oppenheimer, Haunted Mansion has also not been well received by critics. At the time of writing, it currently holds a 41 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes, though the audience score is significantly higher at 85 percent. Nevertheless, this could have scared away additional viewers among the group of people who were aware the movie was coming out this weekend.

Source: THR

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