Harrison Ford’s canine adventure “The Call of the Wild” is shaping up to be the latest box office dud for the Disney-owned 20th Century.
The film, based on Jack London’s best-selling novel, has made $45 million in the U.S. and $79 million globally after two weeks in theaters. That wouldn’t be a bad result, had “The Call of the Wild” cost a moderate amount to make and market. However, it carries a price tag above $125 million, meaning the film needs to make between $250 million and $275 million to break even, according to sources close to the production and rival studio executives. Given the unlikeliness that it’ll reach those ticket sales, “The Call of the Wild” is expected to lose around $50 million. TSG co-financed the film, which will help mitigate damages for Disney.
After Disney broke box office records last year with billion-dollar blockbusters like “Avengers: Endgame,” “The Lion King” and “Captain Marvel,” the studio is well positioned to withstand a hit or two. Since formally acquiring 20th Century Fox last year, Disney has jettisoned off a string of box office misfires. Most notably, the company blamed much of its $170 million quarterly write-down in August on “X-Men” spin-off “Dark Phoenix,” a film that cost $200 million and tapped out with $250 million globally. “Underwater” with Kristen Stewart, buddy comedy “Stuber” and the animated “Spies in Disguise” were also theatrical disappointments.
“The Call of the Wild” received mixed reviews from critics, though audiences seemed to like it more and gave it an “A-” CinemaScore. The film debuted to $24.8 million last weekend, ahead of expectations. Box office analysts believe it benefitted as Ford’s first major on-screen film role in years. “The Call of the Wild” declined 46% in its sophomore outing and brought in $13.3 million in North America, an average result for a family film. Internationally, “The Call of the Wild” has made $33 million from 50 foreign markets, representing 91% of its overseas footprint. However, Coronavirus has closed theaters in China, Italy and Korea, which could hinder ticket sales abroad.
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“The Call of the Wild” was written by Michael Green (“Logan,” “Blade Runner 2049”) and directed by Chris Sanders. It follows a man (Ford) who crosses paths with a dog named Buck, who was captured from his California home and sold to freight haulers.
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