It came as no surprise to anyone that Disney and Lucasfilm Animation’s Strange Magic was already deemed the worst animated film of 2015. It should come as no surprise that it’s also becoming one of the biggest animated flops of the year!
That’s right, Strange Magic bombed at the box office. Hard.
The numbers, which just came in today, showed Strange Magic debuting at #7, with an opening weekend gross of $5.5 Million. Very clearly, that’s the worst opening for an animated movie this year, and a predictably terrible start to the 2015 year in animation.
The only other animated film on the list (more accurately a CG/Live-Action hybrid) is Paddington, which currently holds the #3 spot at the box office with $30 Million domestically and $129 Million internationally for a worldwide total of $159 million. Paddington has also been enjoying a universally positive response, with a 98% ‘Certified Fresh’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes; compare that with Strange Magic’s dismal 11% rating.
Now, exactly what were the reasons for why it flopped the way it did (other than the stated obvious)? Going back to Paddington, it could be that said universal praise has marked it in the eyes of many parents as being the superior choice for family-friendly entertainment. On that same token, it could be that the often grotesque weirdness of Strange Magic‘s designs may have scared away parents looking for something that they can take their kids to.
In any case, the verdict from critics, and now audiences, is blindingly clear: Strange Magic‘s too strange for a general audience to appreciate, and at the same time it’s too generic to even draw interest from fans of this particular kind of fantasy – for the record, Blue Sky’s Epic did it much better.
How this will affect Disney – and to a larger extent, Lucasfilm Animation – remains to be seen. The budget for this film hasn’t been publicly disclosed as of yet, but something tells me that Lucasfilm Animation will have to work harder and do better if it wants a future on the big screen.
Strange Magic is now in theaters. Check out the website review here.
What do you think? Are you surprised at all about the numbers? What lesson (if at all) could this teach Lucasfilm Animation?
Edited by: Kajsa Rain Forden