In a roller coaster year at the box office, we have witnessed high-key triumphs in the likes of “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” “Barbie,” and “Oppenheimer.” However, we also faced a significant upset with “The Flash” and “Shazam! Fury of the Gods.” As we ushered in 2023, there appeared to be some surefire successes on the horizon, namely “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” and “Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Park One.” However, new figures, after taking into account their respective box office performances reveal a somewhat less rosy picture.
Renowned filmmaker, Paul Schrader, dubbed ‘Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One’ as ‘Tiresome Claptrap,’ even suggesting that AI might have penned the script more effectively. His statement stirs up questions on the relevancy and originality of modern Hollywood screenplays.
Based on a recent report from Variety, it seems that the latest ‘Indiana Jones’ and ‘Mission: Impossible’ productions stand to lose nearly $100 million each, considering their respective box office runs. Given the post-pandemic context, it was clear that these were not going to be billion-dollar smash hits, yet even the current projections are disappointing.
With staggering production budgets totaling roughly $300 million each, along with hefty marketing expenditures, these movies’ figures fall drastically short of expectations. With “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” pulling in a worldwide gross of just $375 million, it finds itself far behind its franchise high-earner, ‘Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,’ which swiped more than $790 million globally.
Meanwhile, “Mission: Impossible —Dead Reckoning Park One,” has fared slightly better, with a current gross of $522 million. This figure, however, is significantly less than its predecessor, ‘Fallout,’ which amassed a cool $791 million globally.
Bearing in mind the post-COVID landscape, it’s unfair to expect the same spectacular revenue figures as before the pandemic. Decreased profitability in Russia and China also play substantial roles. However, the fundamental issue seems to remain the bloated budgets of these blockbuster hopefuls.
When a movie costs $300 million to produce and another $100 million for marketing, the film needs to rake in roughly $750 million merely to break even in theatres. While movies continue to earn beyond their theatrical life through cable deals and ancillary income, the struggle for profitability is becoming a real challenge.
These recent trends raise questions about future strategies. Will we see Tom Cruise command a $300 million film budget again? Will Disney rein in spending on legacy sequels? Pop culture fans and industry watchers will eagerly keep their eyes on the evolution of Hollywood strategy going forward.