Strange World Star Has A Wild Excuse For It Flopping

By Matthew Creith | Published

Strange World Gabrielle Union

After a year of big Marvel Cinematic Universe debuts in theaters like Thor: Love and Thunder and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, it seems that Disney may not have done a great job in marketing some other feature films. Unfortunately for a movie like Strange World, which premiered over the long Thanksgiving weekend, the overall box office take was seen as a flop by most experts in the film industry. Strange World star Gabrielle Union had some choice words for why the movie was such a flop, as she recalled in an interview with Variety that she feels moviegoers have become “comfortable watching things at home.”

Ever since the pandemic, where COVID-19 forced many typical moviegoers to stay home and stream new content, movie studios and distribution companies have had a hard time figuring out what titles should be released in theaters and which ones should go straight to streaming platforms. Disney+ has been the home for many new releases in recent memory, like Hocus Pocus 2, the sequel to the 1993 original Halloween-themed movie starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy.

Unlike some other new releases, Disney chose to premiere Strange World in theaters instead of streaming, which Gabrielle Union believes might have been the wrong move. Strange World has so far grossed a total of $27.8 million at the box office against an astounding budget of close to $180 million. The movie’s plot and themes revolve around the Clades family.

Known primarily for their work in exploration, they are caught up in a journey of a lifetime to save a precious resource that has provided power to their homeland. Strange World is aided by its impressive voice cast, including Jake Gyllenhaal, Dennis Quaid, Lucy Liu, Gabrielle Union, and comedian Jaboukie Young-White.

Strange World Gabrielle Union
Strange World

While Strange World star Gabrielle Union might believe that viewers would rather be at home on their comfortable couches watching a movie via streaming instead of going to a movie theater, some experts have differing opinions on the flick’s box office disappointment. The movie features a principal queer character, which Vulture reports might have added to backlash from conservative viewers who were afraid of the film’s message.

This might have also hurt Strange World’s chances in markets that Disney often counts on for bigger box office receipts, including China and parts of the Middle East. But even before Strange World showed up at the box office and Gabrielle Union had to discuss its low performance in theaters, Disney has had their own internal troubles going on.

Disney CEO Bob Chapek was fired over the Thanksgiving weekend and replaced with former longtime CEO Bob Iger, a move that made many industry experts curious about the direction the House of Mouse will be going in the near future. Iger is well-known as one of Disney’s most prominent and popular CEOs in the company’s history, steering Disney into successful acquisitions of LucasFilm, 20th Century Fox, Marvel Entertainment, Pixar, and setting up streaming opportunities through Disney+.