Disney Tries Re-Releasing Old Movies As It Reels From Dismal Box Office Numbers
Movie-goers wait in line to buy tickets at a Harkins movie theater in Denver, Colorado, U.S., on Friday, Oct. 16, 2009.
Matthew Staver/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Disney and Sony are planning to re-release several movies in domestic theaters as box office numbers lag.

Total domestic box office gross revenues were above $11.3 billion in 2019, yet fell to $2.1 billion in 2020 as a result of COVID and the lockdown-induced recession, according to Box Office Mojo. Despite seeing a recovery to $4.5 billion in 2021 and $5.0 billion thus far in 2022, the number of new releases from production studios continues to lag.

Disney is therefore re-releasing the Star Wars solo film “Rogue One,” which debuted in 2016, as well as “Avatar,” which debuted in 2009. “Andor,” a spinoff series for the former flick, debuts on streaming platform Disney+ in the fall, while “Avatar: The Way of Water” debuts at the end of the year.

Sony will likewise re-release “Spider-Man: No Way Home — The More Fun Stuff,” a collaboration between Sony and Disney subsidiary Marvel Studios that will include extended scenes.

The news comes as Disney suffers criticism and market backlash for its involvement in left-wing social causes. In a high-profile loss for the entertainment conglomerate, “Lightyear” — which included a same-sex kiss — earned a paltry $51 million during its three-day opening, despite a lack of competition from other children’s movies and significantly more robust success from past “Toy Story” flicks.

Disney’s most recent earnings report indicates that Americans may be rejecting the company’s foray into wokeness. Although Disney reported last Wednesday that total subscriptions for Disney+ increased from 87.6 million to 93.6 million during the third quarter of its current fiscal year, the vast majority of growth arose from international users, with only 100,000 new subscriptions coming from the domestic market. The latest figures represent a significant slowdown from the 1.5 million new domestic subscribers added by Disney during its fiscal second quarter.

Indeed, the slowdown occurred as Disney vowed to “take action” against the state of Texas for officials’ orders to investigate transgender procedures upon children as child abuse and opposed parental rights legislation in Florida signed by Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL), which banned classroom instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten to third grade. Meanwhile, a Disney producer boasted about her “not-at-all secret gay agenda” and the company’s work to infuse children’s productions with LGBTQ content.

Amid its activism — driven largely by internal pressure from left-leaning employees — Disney appeared to be misreading the American public. In an exclusive poll from The Daily Wire, 64% of Americans, including 62% of Democrats and 57% of independents, supported the Florida law.

Americans are, on a broader level, not willing to see corporate activism distort the marketplace. In another exclusive poll from The Daily Wire, 29% of respondents agreed it is a “good thing” for companies to leverage their financial power for political or social means supported by executives, while 58% — twice as many — said it is a “bad thing.”

“Top Gun: Maverick” — a film full of military nostalgia, football, motorcycles, and other patriotic nods — has topped the box office this year, with $1.4 billion in worldwide revenue and $674 million in the United States, according to Box Office Mojo.

Disclosure: The Daily Wire has announced plans for childrens’ entertainment content.

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