Indiana Jones Is A Mega-Millions Loss For Disney, Franchise Getting Put On Ice?

By Charlene Badasie | Published

Indiana Jones has captured audiences’ imaginations for decades with his thrilling escapades. However, even the legendary archaeologist is not immune to box office failure. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, the latest installment in the adventure franchise, fell short of expectations, leaving Disney with a massive financial burden.

Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny Fails


According to recent financial statements, the film failed to cover its exorbitant production costs, leaving the studio with a staggering loss of $134.2 million.

Despite Harrison Ford reprising his role as the titular hero alongside a star-studded cast including Mads Mikkelsen, Antonio Banderas, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny struggled to resonate with audiences.

Critics Panned The Film

Critics were quick to pan the film, citing lackluster storytelling and an over-reliance on spectacle over substance.

While audience ratings were slightly more forgiving, it wasn’t enough to offset the film’s underperformance at the box office. One of the film’s standout features was its dramatic train chase sequence, featuring a digitally de-aged Harrison Ford.

Bad At The Box Office

harrison ford indiana jones

But even this impressive feat of visual effects couldn’t attract enough moviegoers to recoup the film’s astronomical budget.

With a total production cost of $387.2 million, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny faced an uphill battle. With diminishing financial returns and mounting losses, Disney may be forced to reconsider its plans for future installments.

Dial of Destiny brought in $384 million at the box office, a mere 49 percent of the earnings of its predecessor, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in 2008. While the newest film may be comparable to the first three Indiana Jones movies regarding box office takings, those films were released in the 1980s.

When adjusted for inflation, their earnings far surpass Dial of Destiny.

Disney’s Issues

Indiana Jones

The broader context of its struggles in the entertainment industry adds to Disney’s woes. The acquisition of Lucasfilm, the production company behind Indiana Jones, has yet to yield the expected returns. Coupled with losses from streaming platform Disney+ and the lackluster performance of other major franchises like Star Wars, the studio’s financial outlook appears increasingly uncertain.

The dismal performance of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny has also reignited scrutiny of Disney’s leadership, particularly CEO Bob Iger, who spearheaded the acquisition of Lucasfilm. Activist investors like Nelson Peltz’s Trian Fund Management have been vocal in their criticism of Disney’s management, calling for significant changes to the company’s strategy.

First Introduced In Raiders Of The Lost Ark

opening scenes Indiana Jones

Created by George Lucas and directed by Steven Spielberg, viewers were first introduced to Indiana Jones in 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark.

The story followed Indy (Harrison Ford) on a quest to find the fabled Ark of the Covenant before Nazis get to it during World War II. The film was a critical and commercial success, spawning a franchise that became a pop culture phenomenon.

Indiana Jones Franchise

Indiana Jones

Following the success of Raiders of the Lost Ark, three several follow-ups were released, including Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in 1984, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in 1989, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in 2008, and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny in 2023. With the franchise’s future hanging in the balance, only time will tell if Indy can find fortune once more.

Source: Forbes