A Disney Flop Is Now Dominating The Streaming Charts

Strange World has skyrocketed to #1 on Disney+.

By Mark McKee | Published

There isn’t a studio in the industry that has more influence in the animation genre than Disney, with their incredible historical contributions like Lion KingAladdin, and Beauty and the Beast. That doesn’t mean that the studio always hits a home run when they release a new big, animated film, as proven by their Thanksgiving-timed drop of Strange World, which ended up landing hard with a loud and devastating thud. A theatrical flop nowadays doesn’t always mean it is a total loss since studios have a long list of available avenues to release the films on streaming, where according to Flix Patrol, the flop is now dominating in the number one spot on Disney+. 

Flix Patrol shows that when the film was dropped on Disney+, which was just in time for Christmas on December 23. Of course, with no surprise, there were five Christmas movies on the top 10 list for the week of Christmas, including Home AloneHome Alone 2: Lost in New York, and Santa Clause, but once the holiday buzz wore off on December 26, Strange World hit the number one spot and has been there ever since. The path to the streaming service seems to signal an interesting struggle Disney is having between theatrical releases and streaming exclusives. 

With a voice cast of Jake Gyllenhaal, Dennis Quaid, Jaboukie Young-White, Gabrielle Union, and Lucy Liu, there was definitely enough star power to carry the film to the top of the box office most weekends. In its first weekend over Thanksgiving, it sat firmly at the number two spot behind Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and by the second week, David Harbour’s turn as Kris Kringle in the Christmas action movie Violent Night pushed the kid’s movie to number three. All in all, to this point, Strange World has brought in an anemic $67 million and looks to be a loss of over $100 million for Disney. 

jake gyllenhaal strange world

Moving the film to Disney+ so soon after the film bombed at the box office looks like a desperate move to find an audience for the film, which points to the company’s inability to read what will do well in the theater and what won’t. Over the Halloween holiday, Disney dropped Hocus Pocus 2 as a streaming exclusive, causing fans to criticize the company for not putting it in the theater. On top of that, some fans believe the company betrayed Strange World and that it was intentionally released a week after Black Panther: Wakanda Forever to hide its true intentions to bury the movie. 

Content creator Little Saint Sidney (@thederpyhipster) accused Disney on Twitter of trying to sink Strange World with a lack of marketing. The diverse cast and first openly queer lead led to Disney not releasing the movie overseas in markets that censor that material, and all the buzz here at home only reporting the movie bombing led to a dismal theater showing. 

Of course, Strange World isn’t finished, as it is now steaming ahead on streaming with the number one spot for a few days running, even while competing with Willow and National Treasure. Time will tell whether the movie will become a cult classic like other Disney underperformers like Atlantis and Treasure Planet or if it will get lost in the pages of obscurity.