Disney’s Strange World Just Set An Embarrassing Record

Strange World is the first Disney film to score a B from CinemaScore, the lowest score a Disney film has ever rated.

By Jennifer Asencio | Published

Strange World
Disney’s Strange World

Disney’s animated movies are generally popular with audiences, but the latest offering from the studio has become the recipient of a dubious honor. Strange World has received a CinemaScore rating of B, the lowest rating received by any of the studio’s animated features since the rating has been measured. This means that audiences didn’t like it as much as normal Disney fare.

CinemaScore ratings are gathered in theaters just as viewers are exiting the movie. They are intended to gauge the audience’s reaction immediately after seeing the movie. It asks viewers to grade the movie using the common scale of A through F, and in this survey, Strange World was awarded a B.

While almost any parent would be happy if their student came home with a B on their report card, every other Disney feature since Beauty and the Beast has received some form of an A, from A+ to A-. There have been many A- movies before Strange World, such as Treasure Planet, Home on the Range, and Ralph Breaks the Internet. Most movies from Disney tend to get A or A+ grades from audiences.

Strange World represents the first Disney animated feature that did not achieve this mark. For comparison, the Marvel Cinematic Universe movie Eternals is the only movie from that division of the studio conglomerate to earn a B. Only 22 movies in history have ever earned an F, including Alone in the Dark, Disaster Movie, and the 2006 version of The Wicker Man.

Thus, it’s not as though a B rating with audiences is a dealbreaker, but it does indicate that Strange World was a little more niche than most Disney audiences were prepared for. In the tradition of the pulp magazines that inspired it, the movie is about a family of explorers who are asked to travel to the far-off planet Avalonia. Once there, they also locate the family’s long-lost patriarch in a heartwarming story arc about resolving family conflict.

Disney’s Strange World

However, it doesn’t help that there hasn’t been as much interest in the movie as Disney animated features usually get. On its Tuesday previews during Thanksgiving week, Strange World only took in $800,000. This is despite opening during a week with a school holiday that sees a lot of parents taking their children to the movies.

Strange World stars Jake Gyllenhall as Searcher Clade, Dennis Quaid as Jaeger Clade, and Gabrielle Union as Meridian Clade. Lucy Liu co-stars as Castillo Mal, the leader that hires the exploring family to travel the universe. It was directed by Dom Hall and Qui Nguyen and currently has a 75% on Rotten Tomatoes. The low audience score from CinemaScore is the latest in a series of setbacks for the movie, which was banned in several countries for LGB representation.

However, Strange World lived up to its name by opening on a strange week. Preview screenings were on Tuesday instead of the usual Thursday, and Thanksgiving extends the “weekend” to include Wednesday night openings. The movie may not have been liked by its limited preview audience but could do better as the weekend unfolds.