The predicted opening weekend box office tracking numbers for Lucasfilm’s upcoming Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny film took a huge hit.
At the beginning of this month, box office tracking website Box Office Pro predicted the film would have an opening weekend domestic gross between $81 million and $111 million.
The outlet explained they believed the film was getting positive social media chatter, nostalgia would drive moviegoers to the film, families would turn out for it, and “early pre-sales are respectable”
However, they did note the film received poor critic reviews, the franchise already has a monkey on its back with Kingdom of the Crystal Skull dividing audiences, and it has a ton of competition including Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning: Part One and Oppenheimer.
Newly released tracking numbers from The Hollywood Reporter predict the film will only have a domestic opening between $60 million and $70 million.
Pamela McClintock writes, “Disney and 20th Century’s long-awaited next installment in the action-adventure franchise is pacing to open to $60 million to $70 million over the June 30-[July] 2 weekend, according to early tracking.”
That means the film’s original predicted box office grosses from Box Office Pro have declined 25% on the low end and nearly 37% on the high end.
To put this in perspective, the film is tracking worse than 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull without even factoring in inflation.
Kingdom of the Crystal Skull had an opening weekend of $100.1 million domestically. The movie went on to gross $317.7 million domestically and another $469.5 million internationally for a global gross of $786.6 million.
It’s also pacing below Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom when you factor in inflation. Last Crusade had an opening weekend of $37 million without inflation. However, factoring in inflation that comes to $90.5 million.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom’s opening weekend domestic box office haul clocked in at $25.3 million. Adjusting for inflation that’s $73.9 million in 2023 dollars.
The film is on pace to have a bigger opening weekend than both Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Raiders of the Lost Ark had an opening weekend of $8.3 million. Adjusting for inflation that’s $27.7 million. However, the film had extremely long legs and went on to gross $225.6 million at the domestic box office. Factoring in inflation that would be $753.1 million in 2023 dollars.
It’s no surprise that the box office predictions for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny have significantly declined. Despite Box Office Pro’s assessment that social media chatter is good, the film is trending far below what looks to be a massive flop for The Walt Disney Company in The Little Mermaid.
On top of the the fact the film is trending far below The Little Mermaid, the film is being promoted by Lucasfilm to depict an Indiana Jones character that audiences will not recognize.
In fact, the film’s director James Mangold detailed audiences will need to “readjust and retool their brains.”
While discussing the de-aging technology used on Harrison Ford, Mangold said, “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 then added, “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 elaborates. “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.”
Actor Harrison Ford also notes this is a different Indiana Jones he’s portraying, “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.”
An alleged plot leak for the film also claims Indiana Jones does not make the heroic choice like he did in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Instead, it’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s character who makes that decision.
The film reportedly sees Jones, scientist Doctor Jürgen Voller, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s character, Helena, be transported to the Roman siege of Syracuse, where Jones decides he wants to stay and create a new life in the past.
Helena attempts to get him to choose to return to no avail and ends up punching him and knocking him out and forcing him to return to his present time.
So it’s not surprising that the box office predictions have significantly declined. There’s a lot going against this movie rather than for it.
What do you make of this massive declines in the film’s box office predictions?