Why Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny’s Box Office Is In Trouble

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny's massive budget and dismal box office predictions mean the movie might not break even.

By Robert Scucci | Updated

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Despite the lackluster reception that Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny received at its Cannes Premiere, its Thursday night preview in the US brought in $7.2 million at the domestic box office, according to Variety. Sources speculate that this final installment of the franchise will gross around $60 million stateside and an additional $80 million in international markets. Though a total worldwide box office debut of $140 million seems like a great start, we have to consider the budget of Dial of Destiny, which cost a staggering $295 million to produce, which makes us wonder if the film will turn a profit, or even break even.

It’s not outside the realm of possibility that Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny will be a commercial success, but that’s only if you don’t take into account the marketing budget that was spent to promote the film. In other words, the $295 million isn’t all-inclusive and only covers the cost of the actual filmmaking.

Set primarily in 1969, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny kicks off in 1944, where Harrison Ford portrays the titular character with the assistance of de-aging CGI.

It’s safe to say that a healthy amount of production dollars went toward making an 80-year-old actor look 46 years old during these scenes, and critics have pointed out that the overuse of CGI took them out of the film for a moment.

While we would like to see Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny be a commercial and critical success, the numbers are telling. As it currently stands, the problem is two-fold.

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On one hand, Dial of Destiny is the lowest-ranked Indiana Jones film on Rotten Tomatoes, with a critical score of 67 percent. On the other hand, this final installment of the Indiana Jones franchise is high up on the rankings of the most expensive movies ever made.

But when you consider the audience scores on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s worth noting that Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny has an 88 percent audience score, which absolutely trounces Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which only has a 53 percent score, and even surpasses Temple of Doom, which has an 82 percent.

Critical scores are important, but we have to remember that box office money comes from the people who are paying to go to the movies and watch it. At this point in time, it’s hard to tell if being well-received by audiences will be enough to make up for the film’s massive budget.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is not only one of the most expensive films of all time, but producing it was far more costly than any other Indiana Jones movie as well. Kingdom of the Crystal Skull comes in second place with a total budget of $185 million, which isn’t exactly what we’d call a close second.

It’s safe to say that Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destinys fate at the box office will lie in the hands of nostalgic fans of the franchise. The general consensus is that Dial of Destiny pays proper lip-service to the franchise as a whole, but falls short of its predecessors due to the overuse of CGI.

Once the opening weekend dust settles, we’ll have a clearer picture of how Dial of Destiny actually performed against the predicted box office numbers, so there’s still hope that Indiana Jones will still go out with a bang with this final feature-length film.