This has been a tough year for writers, actors, and pretty much anyone involved in the film industry. Now, in addition to the chaos of the Hollywood dual strike, Disney and Paramount are set to lose big on their biggest blockbusters of the year, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny and Mission Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One. Both action movies were released this summer, and despite grossing a considerable amount of money at the box office, the production companies may still lose out on $100 million, according to Variety.
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny may have been a disappointment at the box office, but it’s now in good company, with Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One performing below expectations.
One of the main reasons why the two big blockbusters are struggling to earn more of a profit is because of their incredibly high production budgets. Apparently, all of the stunts that Tom Cruise performs are not cheap, nor is using technology to make Harrison Ford look younger.
Both Indiana Jones 5 and Mission Impossible 7 cost about $300 million to make, and then they each spent another $100 million on marketing. So far, Indiana Jones has only grossed $375 million globally, and Mission Impossible 7 has grossed $523 globally. While these profits are nothing to scoff at, it is disappointing when such big productions barely break even or come up short at the box office.
The good news for Disney and Paramount is that both of these movies are still in theaters, so they will continue to earn money as long as they are running.
Indiana Jones and Mission Impossible are not cheap franchises, but the ballooning budget for the latest installments meant even earning hundreds of millions isn’t enough to turn a profit.
After their time in the theaters, Indiana Jones 5 and Mission Impossible 7 will earn even more profits once they are released on streaming services and video on demand, among other sales. Unfortunately, these profits are gained by using the long-game approach rather than the short-game approach and the instant gratification that comes from a box office hit.
Disney CEO Bob Iger has weighed in on the struggle and said that his company is trying to spend less money on a movie’s production, though that will likely be tricky in this economy. The cost of everything is rising, from eggs to gas to Tom Cruise’s paycheck (which was $60 million for the new Mission Impossible film). If they can bring down the production cost, then grossing $375 million at the box office will feel more like a slam-dunk than a belly flop.
With smaller budgets, the latest Indiana Jones and Mission Impossible films would have been successes, instead of continuing this year’s streak of disappointments at the box office.
Since the new films are sequels to ongoing franchises, many fans streamed the previous Indiana Jones and Mission Impossible movies before seeing the newest one in theaters. These streams helped Disney and Paramount earn additional profits in addition to box office sales. They still do not compare to the previous box office wins, with Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull earning $790 million in 2008 and Mission: Impossible – Fallout earning $791 million in 2018.
If production companies want to succeed at the box offices, then they should take notes from Barbie. The sensational movie from Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie only cost $145 million to make, and it has earned over $1 billion globally (so far). It also never hurts to add strong, powerful women, a Ryan Gosling musical number, and a lot of pink to a film.