The Walt Disney Company must be absolutely furious.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie has completely dominated the box office since its release on April 5th.
Over the five-day Easter holiday weekend, the movie raked in nearly $205 million, an astonishing figure.
That number is even more impressive considering it set a record for highest Wednesday-Sunday gross, ever.
Beyond that time frame, it’s also the second highest grossing animated three day weekend opening in movie history. Its $146 million figure was second to “Finding Dory,” a 2016 Pixar sequel.
There’s speculation that “Super Mario Bros.” could even challenge Disney’s flagship animated property: Frozen.
That impressive possibility, highlights the underlying problem for post-Trump Disney: their animated films have become increasingly political. And it’s not working.
The most famous example of the rapid decline in Disney’s fortunes is the “Toy Story” associated film “Lightyear.” And it presents a clear cut contrast with the success of “Super Mario.”
“Super Mario Bros.” has been out for just nine days, yet according to Box Office Mojo, it’s virtually doubled the total international box office of “Lightyear.”
Mario is obviously a popular brand name and intellectual property, but then again, so is “Toy Story” and Buzz Lightyear.
It didn’t matter.
Not only did Disney needlessly insert a woke political message into the film, but they declined to include Tim Allen in the project. Despite him voicing the character in all previous “Toy Story” films.
Allen’s exclusion may have been due to his center-right political views, which contradict the hypocritical liberalism of CEO Bob Iger.
And sure enough, the film became an absolute disaster for Disney, losing hundreds of millions of dollars.
Reviewers, unsurprisingly, viewed “Lightyear” positively, since they approve of Disney’s politics. That led to a 74% score on Rotten Tomatoes, a relatively high number. “Super Mario Bros.” though, has just a 58% rating.
That alone illustrates the reasons for “Lightyear’s” failure. Families and parents don’t want to receive political messaging and lectures in a kids movie.
“Mario” avoided it, “Lightyear” didn’t. One is a huge, record-breaking success despite mediocre reviews. The other was a dramatic failure despite positive reviews.
It shouldn’t be hard for Disney to make quality, successful animated film projects.
The company’s history, creativity and talented personnel are unmatched.
But instead, they’re putting out progressive activism in animated form with films like “Strange World.”
And sure enough, it’s been one flop after another in recent years.
Their next project is called “Wish,” with progressive sites like The Atlanta Voice already celebrating its “inclusivity and diversity efforts.”
Disney keeps focusing on the wrong priorities instead of following “Mario’s” example. Make an enjoyable film parents can take their kids to without having to explain the political messaging afterwards.
The company made its name making those exact type of products. But now they’re being outperformed by their competitors.
And it’s their own fault. Even more frustratingly, the company doesn’t seem to care enough to fix it.