Wonka Looking Like Another Box Office Failure For Hollywood

By Robert Scucci | Published

Early reports indicate that the upcoming Wonka movie may not be golden ticket after all, according to World of Reel. There are some troubling signs that this movie could be heading for a significant box office disaster.

Wonka Tracking For Low Opening Weekend

wonka timothee chalamet

Though we’re still over two months away from the Timothée Chalamet starring film’s premiere, The Quorum, a trustworthy analytics firm, projects that Wonka’s opening weekend will earn somewhere in the low $20 million range, which is chump-change when you consider the film’s reported $125 million production budget.

These numbers may come as a surprise, especially when you consider the fact that test screenings from last December were mostly favorable.

Too Early For Projections?

These numbers could be low for a number of reasons. It simply may be too early to get a solid projection on the opening weekend numbers, and they could very well increase significantly over the next couple of months. As more promotional efforts roll out for Wonka, the opening weekend box office projections could see a healthy boost.

Timothée Chalamet Getting SNL Bump?

wonka trailer

One such promotion will come in the form of Timothée Chalamet hosting SNL on November 11, and it’s not outside the realm of possibility for the sketch comedy institution to poke fun at the film’s titular character, as they have been known to do in the past.

What’s more, Warner Bros. has released multiple trailers, as well as over a dozen different poster designs to promote the upcoming Paul King Directed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory prequel. In other words, as the promotional wheels pick up their pace and continue to spin, Warner Bros. still has time to bolster their bottom line by continuing the push Wonka to the masses.

Timothée Chalamet Not The Right Wonka


Those who have already viewed the Wonka trailers have commented on the fact that Timothée Chalamet, who was paid $9 million for his involvement in the film, may not be the right guy for the role.

The most common complaint is the lack of charisma that his version of Wonka has compared to the legendary Gene Wilder, who is famously known for bringing a heaping amount of manic and misanthropic energy to the iconic 1971 film, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

Even 52 years after the classic film made its rounds, fans of the original film may not be able to get past the fact that Gene Wilder is basically synonymous with the trouble-making chocolatier.

Bad Wonka Trailers


We’ve seen the Chalamet starring Dune break the box office when it earned $402 million in 2021, but we’re talking about wildly different genres here, so it’s possible that the Wonka shoe doesn’t quite fit when thrust onto the foot of the man behind Paul Atreides.

Another possibility to consider is that the Wonka trailers aren’t wholly representative of the entire narrative, which happens from time to time if the best scenes could potentially spoil any big reveals.

An updated trailer that better represents Chalamet’s performance in the upcoming film could certainly help convince people to see what Wonka is all about upon its release.

Origin Story Fatigue


One more possibility to consider is the fact that the masses are by and large feeling origin story fatigue, which begs the question, “Do all of our favorite film properties have to get the retcon treatment?”

Wonka is centered on Willy Wonka’s early upbringing, long before securing his dynasty as the eccentric chocolate factory owner who seemingly enjoys putting children in danger when they don’t follow his rules.

Part of the allure of the original novel and its film adaptation is that Wonka’s origins are a mystery, which makes the narrative all the more compelling.

Wonka will see its UK premiere on December 15 2023, and will launch a week later in the US. Hopefully that’s enough time to get those opening weekend numbers up, and bring the magic of Willy Wonka, and his Chocolate Factory, to a new generation of chocoholics.