The Walt Disney Company’s 2022 Domestic Box Office Grosses The Worst In Over Two Decades

Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) in Lucasfilm's INDIANA JONES AND THE DIAL OF DESTINY. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

The Walt Disney Company’s 2022 box office grosses are the worst the company has posted in nearly two decades. Not only are the grosses the worst in nearly two decades but just since 2019 the company has seen their grosses decline nearly 70%.

Jonathan Majors as Kang The Conqueror in Marvel Studios' ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA. Photo by Jay Maidment. © 2022 MARVEL.

Jonathan Majors as Kang The Conqueror in Marvel Studios’ ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA. Photo by Jay Maidment. © 2022 MARVEL.

YouTuber and scooper WDW Pro says, “The Walt Disney Company has seen something like a 70% drop in the box office totals it’s receiving since 2019. Now, you might blame that on the pandemic, perhaps, and say, ‘We’re in a post-pandemic world.’ But if that’s the case then why is Disney on track to drop hundreds of millions of dollars versus their 2022 box office totals.”

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The YouTuber went on to make his point by citing Box Office Pro’s report of The Walt Disney Company’s 2019 box office grosses. The outlet reported the company grossed “$13.1 billion globally across its Disney and Fox film releases in 2019.”

They added “that number includes $4.3283 billion in North America and $8.8234 billion overseas.”

Dominique Thorne and Kevin Feige attend the Ant-Man and The Wasp Quantumania World Premiere at the Regency Village Theatre on Monday, February 6, 2023 in Westwood, CA.
(Photo:Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)

The company released 13 films in 2019 with top grossers including Avengers: Endgame, The Lion King, and Frozen II.

Other films that brought in money at the box office in 2019 from The Walt Disney Company included Toy Story 4, Captain Marvel, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Aladdin, Dumbo, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, Mary Poppins Returns, Ralph Breaks The Internet, Penguins, and The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.

The Avengers assemble in Avengers: Endgame (2019), Marvel Entertainment via Blu-ray

The Avengers assemble in Avengers: Endgame (2019), Marvel Entertainment via Blu-ray

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Fast forward to 2022 and Box Office Pro reports The Walt Disney Company only earned $2 billion domestically and another $2.9 internationally for a global gross of $4.9 billion. That’s a 62% decline from 2019.

The films bringing in the money in 2022 included: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Thor: Love and Thunder, Lightyear, Strange World, Encanto, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, The Beatles Get Back: The Rooftop Concert, and Eternals.

Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Marvel Studios’ THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

Interestingly, The-Numbers reports that The Walt Disney Company only grossed $1.3 billion domestically when adjusted for inflation. The difference is likely that Box Office Pro is factoring in Avatar: The Way of Water while The-Numbers is not. The-Numbers lists Avatar: The Way of Water being distributed by 20th Century Studios, albeit it is a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company now.

Nevertheless, The-Numbers notes that $1.3 billion gross is the lowest grossing total excluding 2020 and 2021 for The Walt Disney Company going as far back as 1995, which is as far back as The-Numbers’ reporting goes. It’s nearly a 70% decline from 2019’s domestic grosses of $4.26 billion.

(L-R): Scuttle (voiced by Awkwafina), Flounder (voiced by Jacob Tremblay), and Halle Bailey as Ariel in Disney's live-action THE LITTLE MERMAID. Photo courtesy of Disney. © 2023 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

(L-R): Scuttle (voiced by Awkwafina), Flounder (voiced by Jacob Tremblay), and Halle Bailey as Ariel in Disney’s live-action THE LITTLE MERMAID. Photo courtesy of Disney. © 2023 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Not only are grosses down, but so are ticket sales. The-Numbers notes that The Walt Disney Company sold 408,569,611 tickets in domestic theaters in 2019. In 2022, the company only sold 129,776,098 tickets. That’s the lowest number of tickets sold in The-Numbers’ entire tracking history that goes back to 1995. In 1995 the company sold 232,649,211 tickets.

2008 previously held the record for least tickets sold with 139,286,843.

(L-R): Karen Gillan as Nebula, Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord, and Dave Bautista as Drax in Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Photo by Jessica Miglio. © 2023 MARVEL.

Things are looking even worse when examining The Walt Disney Company’s 2023 results. The company is likely to outpace its domestic grosses from 2022, but it’s quite likely it will end up having less global grosses.

The company has currently grossed $1.1 billion in 2023 from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, The Little Mermaid, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, Elemental, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and Strange World.

With three more releases still to come in Haunted Mansion, The Marvels, and Wish as well as four films still currently in theaters it is likely it will surpass 2022’s $1.3 billion domestic gross.

It’s likely they will also sell more tickets as well. The company has only sold 106,032,013 tickets in 2023 so far. They are currently short 23.7 million ticket sales compared to last year. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 by itself sold 34.2 million tickets. The Little Mermaid also sold 27.6 million tickets.

(L-R): Chase Dillon as Travis, Rosario Dawson as Gabbie, LaKeith Stanfield as Ben, Owen Wilson as Father Kent, and Tiffany Haddish as Harriet in Disney’s HAUNTED MANSION. Photo by Jalen Marlowe. © 2023 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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As for the company’s global grosses, WDW Pro predicts the company will only gross $4.2 billion globally. According to Deadline the company has grossed $2.05 billion internationally and another $1.35 billion domestically. However, these numbers include 20th Century Studio’s Avatar: The Way of Water.

Given these numbers from Deadline, WDW Pro says, “That Disney despite having $3.4 billion in revenue … Disney will struggle to top $4 billion total. In fact, I think the number they will probably arrive at is $4.2 billion. We’ll see how that plays out. That’s projecting a bit, but it’s also reading the tea leaves and taking a look at where they have been this year and how their films have performed and playing that out with the very few releases they have left.”

“Now, $4.2 billion, of course, is a decrease from where they were just last year, right? So $4.9 [billion] to $4.2 [billion] that means a $700 million drop is likely,” he continued. “And when you consider that kind of a drop versus the more than $13 billion they were making in 2019, that’s a 70% approximate — because we don’t know exactly where this will land, but about a 70% drop overall.”

Kathleen Kennedy attends the UK Premiere of Lucasfilm’ “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” in Leicester Square on June 26, 2023 in London, UK. (Photo by StillMoving.Net for Disney)

Of note is that 2023 will have one extra film bringing in grosses at the box office. However, it will have three more films released in the calendar year compared to 2022. The Walt Disney Company released five films in 2022 with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, The: Love and Thunder, Lightyear, and Strange World.

In 2023 they already released Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, The Little Mermaid, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, and Elemental. They still have to release Haunted Mansion, The Marvels, and Wish.

Brie Larson as Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers in Marvel Studios’ THE MARVELS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2023 MARVEL.

This new report comes after financial and box office analyst Valliant Renegade speculated that The Walt Disney Company had lost nearly $900 million at the box office in the past year and that was before Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny released, a film that is predicted to lose over $250 million for the company.

What do you make of The Walt Disney Company’s declining box office grosses?

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