“When a guy like [Brad Bird] comes to you with an original idea, and [George] Clooney is part of the package, you’ll take the swing,” an unnamed studio executive told THR. And you can’t argue with that. And given Bird’s pretty much impeccable track record, Disney‘s “Tomorrowland“—on paper at least—seemed like a slam dunk. Of course, the results were much, much different.
Following mostly muted reviews, lackluster box office both at home and abroad, the trade reports that Disney is set to lose between $120 and $140 million on their live action gamble. With a production cost of $180 million plus another $150 million for marketing, the film’s expected worldwide gross is expected to come in under $200 million, and will certainly miss the mark that the studio was looking for.
So, what’s the fallout? Well, it isn’t quite the disaster of the $200 million flop of “John Carter” (which also went over budget) and with Marvel, Pixar, and Lucasfilm movies all slated to be released in the next six months, and likely to do tremendous business, Disney is still going to come out looking pretty golden this year. That said, one does wonder if Brad Bird is finally talking about making “The Incredibles 2” because he wants to have a surefire hit the next time out, and Disney’s unplugging of “Tron 3“ certainly suggests they are taking a look at anything that might be potentially risky or a project that won’t perform to its fullest potential. And that’s not to mention Disney’s incessant drive to turn animated movies into live action blockbusters sees them sticking to proven formulas rather than roll the dice on original ideas. And that might be the game plan for the foreseeable future.