Strange Omission

Strange Omission

Hollywood trade rag Variety released a story behind its Variety Intelligence Platform (VIP get it?) paywall. 

The story was more intriguing for what it doesn’t say than what it does.  

“Last Hopes for 2022 Box Office,” was the title and there were several items listed that the studios were hoping would be major money makers.  Black Adam, Wakanda Forever, and Avatar 2 were all given box office projections.

But there was a strange omission from this list.  

Strange World from Disney Animation Studios which is supposed to have a November release date is nowhere to be found in this article. 

I mean, Halloween’s End is included in these box office projections but a major animated release from Disney Studios isn’t?  

In case you have mercifully forgotten about it, allow me to refresh your memory.

Although you may want to dip out now.

Strange World is the big computer-animated science fiction movie that takes place on an alien planet.  This flick is super-soooper-diverse.  It stars three generations of men, and they get darker with each generation.  The teenager is having a gay romance with I don’t care who and the plot is I don’t care what.

Yeah, it’s Woke.  You guessed right.

I’m trying to read the tea leaves on this one.  Variety has very much an inside track at all the studios and the writer of this article’s job is film projections.  She knows what she’s doing here so there is no way she “just forgot” about a multi-million-dollar Disney animated feature.

This means Disney is doing one of three things.  

One: Shelve it. The movie will have its release date “moved back,” and then it will quietly never get another date.  It will eventually be claimed as a tax loss which means it goes to the Iron Vault to sit next to Star Wars Detours for all eternity. 

Status; unlikely.  Chapek will want to get something more out of it than the lousy fifteen million he’d get as a write-down. 

Two: Disney is going forward with a theatrical release and the projections are so embarrassingly low that it’s nowhere in the conversation. Despite the fact that Variety is projecting this thing is to bomb as badly as Lightyear, Disney is putting it in the theaters anyway.

Status; possible but the fact that Variety didn’t mention it at all, puts its theatrical future in serious doubt. Chapek was happy to put Woke bombs in the theaters when he was at war with studio chairman Peter Rice.  Chapek wanted bombs then.  But Chapek has won the game of thrones and Peter Rice’s head now decorates Traitor’s Gate.  The CEO of Disney no longer wants high-profile bombs and if Lightyear showed anything it’s that Woke AF, gay-friendly family entertainment will not sell.

Which brings us to…

Three:  Straight to Streaming.

Status; most likely.  There is probably enough revenue in hard media sales that it might make back its costs, or at least make more than the tax write-down would have been.   There is an outside chance that Disney may sell the license to other streaming services like Netflix or HBOmax.  It’s possible, and they would probably get their production expenses back.  Although I think it’s most likely fate is to end up on Disney Plus.

We all knew Woke wouldn’t sell but if I’m right then Hollywood is starting to figure it out too.

Okay, I’m done here.

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