An early box office prediction for Lucasfilm’s upcoming Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny movie claims it will outperform Ant-man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
According to The-Numbers, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is currently the fourth highest grossing film of 2023 at the domestic box office with a gross of $214.4 million and 20.5 million tickets sold.
The film currently sits behind current top grossing film The Super Mario Bros. Movie, which has grossed $562.3 million domestically and sold 53.8 million tickets. It’s also behind Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which is still in theaters but has already raked in $310.8 million and sold 29.7 million tickets. Finally, Avatar: The Way of Water has grossed $258.5 million and sold 24.7 million tickets.
Looking at the Indiana Jones franchise, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull had an opening weekend of $100.1 million in 2008 and went on to earn $317.1 million in its domestic run. It had a worldwide gross of $786.6 million.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade had an opening weekend of $37 million and went on to gross $197.1 million domestically. It grossed $474.1 million globally back in 1989.
Temple of Doom had an opening weekend of $25.3 million and went on to earn $179.8 million domestically. It grossed $333 million globally in 1984.
And Raiders of the Lost Ark had an opening weekend of $8.3 million, but surged to a $225.6 million domestically. It grossed a worldwide total of $367.4 million globally in 1981.
Box Office Pro is predicting that Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny will top Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania at the domestic box office predicting the film will on the low end bring in $225 million. On the high end they predict the film could earn up to $380 million and surpass Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
Interestingly, they don’t expect the film to have long legs as they predict the film make a significant portion of its entire gross in its opening weekend predicting it will earn anywhere between $81 million and $111 million.
On the low end if it makes $81 million in its opening weekend and goes on to earn $225 million, the opening weekend gross amounts to 36% of the entire domestic gross. On the high end if it makes $111 million in its opening weekend and goes on to earn $380 million, the opening weekend gross is just shy of 30% of its predicted domestic gross.
As for their reasoning on why they believe the film could become the second highest grossing film of North America behind The Super Mario Bros. Movie, the outlet details, “The prospect of a new chapter in the Indiana Jones saga has ignited fan excitement in the years since Lucasfilm announced they’d pursue the film.”
They specifically believe that Harrison Ford returning to the character and James Mangold as the director will bring people to theaters. They also believe “a wave of nostalgia” that the film promises could drive adult audiences to theaters. The outlet goes on to claim that if families are brought to see the film it could have longer legs.
Box Office Pro also claims that “early pre-sales are respectable when given proper context, i.e. the glut of male- and fan-driven films opening before Dial of Destiny hits theaters in June.”
However, the outlet also notes that there are some factors going against the film specifically the most recent Indiana Jones film, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull divided fans of the franchise.
They also point to poor critical reaction coming out of Cannes Film Festival and note “the film currently stands at 49% approval on Rotten Tomatoes.” Finally, they point out the film faces stiff competition from Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning: Part One, Barbie, Oppenheimer, and others.
It’s hard to imagine the film will even hit these lower marks given alleged leaks for the film claim that Indiana Jones’ heroism is supplanted by Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s character.
Not only do leaks indicate that Jones’ character will be undermined by Waller-Bridge’s, but in interviews Ford and Mangold have made it clear that they are not providing audiences with the Indiana Jones they know and love.
In February, Mangold told The Hollywood Reporter, “We can’t hide from where we are in our lives — none of us can — and neither can Indiana Jones.”
He elaborated, “I wanted to follow Harrison’s own lead and simply deal with it straight on. It’s not just a movie about a hero in his twilight years who is called back into action.”
“It’s more than just that his bones might ache, it’s that his soul might ache, or that some of his optimism or sense fitting into the world might have evaporated,” he detailed.
He then justified the decision saying, “The mistake you can make in movies — and we’ve all seen movies like this — is where someone is of a ripe age, but the entire movie is continuing this charade along with them that they’re not that old.”
Mangold went on to reveal his film is eschewing the tried and true action adventure formula of the first three films, “The first three Indiana Jones movies took place in roughly the same period. They all easily fit with the serialized, theatrical, almost screwball-action style of the movies that were being released in the period they’re set in.”
Mangold then posited, “The challenge for [director Steven Spielberg] on [Crystal Skull], and for me on this one, is: How do you move forward into new decades where the world is no longer seen in such clear demarcations of black and white and good and evil? Where the whole concept of raiding tombs and fighting over relics is looked at in a different way?”
“It’s not about changing the story but allowing the character to experience how the world has changed around him,” Mangold explained.
He also made it clear that film does not clearly delineate who the villains and the good guys are, ”
And our perception of politics is more gray. Who’s a villain? Who are we working with? Who are we fighting against? Proxy wars, all of that. It’s not as simple as the era around World War II.”
“What happens to a hero built for a black-and-white world, when he finds himself in one that is gray? It’s a problem that produces humor, produces contradictions, produces adjustments that this character’s going have to make,” Mangold claims.
While discussing Ford being de-aged, Mangold relayed, “It reminds the audience of the contrast between a hero in his physical prime and a hero at 70.”
“We’re not relying solely on the audience’s memory of the previous films. It reminds everyone what he’s done, what he’s survived, what he’s accomplished,” he said. “By showing him in his most hearty and then finding him at 70 in New York City, it produces for the audience a kind of wonderful whiplash of how they’re going to have to readjust and retool their brains for this guy.”
“His past is a live memory for the audience, hanging over a man who is now living with anonymity in a world that no longer cares or recognizes the things he felt so deeply about,” Mangold declared. “You’re left with a multilayered perception of his character, both what he was and what he is, and how the world is different between the first 20 minutes of the movie.”
Ford echoed much of Mangold’s points in an interview with Fandango telling the outlet about who Indiana Jones is in this film, “I think he has been teaching for however many years. He’s a bit dispirited with teaching. His students are not keen with archaeology necessary. And they’re kind of loafing through his classes and I suppose he is as well. And he’s now forced to retire by I suppose the rules at Hunter College and they are bringing somebody else in to be the head of the Archaeology Department, and he has no real future in mind for himself.”
He went on to describe Indiana Jones, “There’s great joy in playing the character. I’m familiar with the character. I’ve enjoyed playing the character. I’ve had great writing to support the character’s behavior and the sense of who he is.”
“But now we are taking him into the twilight of his life and his career,” Ford continued. “We’re seeing him not so strong, not so brave, not so attentive, but about to go on a grand adventure with a very fascinating set of compatriots and adversaries.”
What do you make of this early box office prediction? How much money do you think Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny will gross in its opening weekend and its entire theatrical run?