The Walt Disney Company lost its top spot at the global box office in 2023 as the studio experienced an unprecedented string of woke flops, including The Marvels, Wish, and the latest Indiana Jones sequel.
For the past seven years, Disney has reigned supreme thanks in large part to its Marvel and Pixar brands. But this year, Universal took the No. 1 spot, propelled by The Super Mario Bros. Movie and Oppenheimer.
Universal generated an estimated $4.91 billion in worldwide ticket sales, compared to an estimated $4.83 billion from the 17 titles released by Disney, according to a tally by The Hollywood Reporter.
The dethroning of Disney marks the latest piece of bad news for the beleaguered studio, which is seeing returned CEO Bob Iger flounder in his job. The company experienced a bloodbath in 2023 in the form of 7,000 layoffs worldwide, with more cuts to come.
Meanwhile, Disney’s streaming services continue to lose billions of dollars. As a result, prices have gone up — way up. In 2023, the company hiked Disney+’s monthly subscription price to $13.99 from $10.99 — a 27 percent increase.
But the growing number of box office failures is perhaps the biggest blow to Disney’s prestige.
The unprecedented losing streak is shocking for a studio that used to mint money at the theater thanks to brands like Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm. Woke messaging — including aggressive promotion of the LGBTQ agenda — has turned off millions of paying customers.
Other recent disappointments include The Little Mermaid, Haunted Mansion, A Haunting in Venice, and Pixar’s Elemental.