How Much Money Did Indiana Jones 5 Lose, and What Does it Mean for Disney?

Have you been wondering exactly how much money Indiana Jones and the Dial Destiny cost Disney? Well, Forbes has a number for you – not an exact number because it doesn’t include the marketing budget, but this one is big enough to illustrate how disastrous the movie was. The fifth Indy flick cost $387.2 million to produce, according to financial reports obtained by Forbes. However, the British government gives studios that film in the UK a 25.5% rebate on the money spent there, as long as it’s at least 10% of the movie’s total budget. This is why there are clear financial statements from the film; Disney wanted that UK cash and had to file reports with the government to get it. Using the 50% standard share of ticket sales for a studio (which is kind of an average of Odin’s domestic vs. international box office spread), Forbes calculates Disney’s box office take as $192 million, and it got a $58.3 million rebate from the British government during production and an extra $2.7 million during post-production. When all is said and done – and, again, this is not counting marketing costs – Disney’s loss from Indiana Jones and World’s Most Boring Title is $134.2 million. This, of course, doesn’t include DVD and Blu-ray sales (though I can’t imagine someone wanting this thing sitting on their shelf), which, they say, are being hurt by Disney+ allowing subscribers to watch it whenever they want.

The Indy stuff is funny, and it’s gratifying considering what Disney did to one of the greatest movie series of all time (Kingdom of the Crystal Skull notwithstanding), but what’s more interesting is that Forbes admits that Disney’s Lucasfilm acquisition has yet to be profitable for them. Indiana Jones and Willow are dead and gone, with the latter’s TV revival being so bad and so universally rejected that Disney purged it from Disney+ and will never allow it to see the light of day again. But the Star Wars films produced under Disney’s rule have not made up the difference, cumulatively generating $1.298 billion in profits (including Solo: A Star Wars Story, which lost $74.4 million). Disney bought Lucasfilm for $4 billion in 2012 and hasn’t even recouped half of that in twelve years. Sure, that’s not including their Disney+ shows, but I don’t know how much they could be making from a bunch of expensive series that are part of a streaming service and of which the most popular one is bleeding viewers. Then, there’s the merchandising, which… well, watch WorldClassBullshitters to see how that’s going.

We can talk about “Get woke, go broke” all day, and that is certainly at play, but the ridiculous costs of these movies are a factor as well. Indiana Jones and the Wagging Finger of Feminism cost almost $400 million before marketing, and The Force Awakens is the most expensive film ever produced at $533.2 million; the latter was hugely successful, but its profits are just $54 million more than its costs. That’s crazy, and it’s not sustainable, especially now that their films are not even making as much as The Force Awakens did. There is no reason for an Indiana Jones movie to cost $300 million – and it cost that much before post-production, when the digitally de-aged Indy was inserted. You especially can’t spend that much money on movies people don’t like, and audiences are sending the clear message that they don’t like these films. Wokeness is a big part of it, but even beyond that, these are half-baked stories that don’t hold together with boring characters and themes that don’t resonate. And Disney’s reaction is just as bad, shouting “racist” at everyone who doesn’t want to see Phoebe Waller-Bridge punch out Harrison Ford or Rey call Luke Skywalker a loser. You can’t do that and expect these same people to keep giving you their money.

When do these financial losses become too big and numerous for the status quo to continue? I don’t know. I’ve said this before, but I’m convinced people like Bob Iger – and I think there are a lot more just like him – are ideologues who don’t care if they turn their businesses to ash so long as they expound on their sociopolitical messages. But, as Forbes points out, Nelson Peltz’s proxy war with Iger may look more attractive to Disney’s investors by the day, and a report like this one doesn’t help Iger. Seeing movies devoid of some of these problems, like Kung Fu Panda 4 and Godzilla x Kong, doing huge box office business can’t help, either. Godzilla x Kong is a film that has giant CGI monsters running around for two hours, and it cost $135 million, less than half of Indiana Jones and the Destruction of an Icon, where Harrison Ford and an obnoxious girlboss swim, climb, and ride horses. At a certain point, cooler heads must prevail, but that’s assuming there are more cool heads than there are ones drunk on their own activism.

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