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The 7 Least Successful Disney Movies, and Why

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I know, I know, you’re probably all “What, someone writing a listicle about Disney? On the INTERNET? Wonder when other sites will start tapping into that content well.” But I’m not here for speculative Disney, or Disney things as some other thing. I’m all about cold. Hard. Facts. Let’s talk about the flops, DISNEY! You may be a powerhouse now, but we all remember the movie mistakes you’ve made. TAKE A LOOK!

The Black Cauldron

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WHY’S IT A FAILURE: Cost $44 million, only made $21.3 million

SIDEBAR: I loved The Black Cauldron when I was a kid, but I think it’s just because it was about a kid with a sword. I loved swords, what can I say. It’s a miracle I didn’t become a Juggalo. Anyway, this movie was Disney’s biggest flop, and the most expensive animated movie Disney had made up to that point. People within Disney didn’t really like it, and it had very little resemblance to its source material (“The Chronicles of Prydain”), so why even bother getting the rights to those books? The movie didn’t really have a writer (the storyboard artists were the writers back then), plus it had tons of interference form the head of Disney. The Black Cauldron was just not destined for success.

Home On The Range

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WHY’S IT A FAILURE: $104 million made, against a budget of $110 million

This is one of the most nothing movies you’ll ever see. Home On The Range isn’t even that bad, it’s just… nothing in it is memorable. It came in the middle of a particularly “blah” period for Disney, where even the movies that made money didn’t make any cultural impact (the most enduring movie from that time, The Emperor’s New Groove, wasn’t a hit when it came out.) But Home on the Range didn’t even make its budget back, which is quite a feat for a Disney movie of any era. And again, it’s just so blah. Like, talking cows on a ranch. Such a “bad day at the office” idea.

The Lone Ranger

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WHY’S IT A FAILURE: Because it just sucks.

Look, it was 2013 when The Lone Ranger came out — we were long past the time when you could get away with dressing a white actor up like a person of color without literally having “This sucks and is unacceptable” shouted at you from the rooftops. Following the lead of the Pirates of the Caribbean series, The Lone Ranger is an impossibly long, often wildly dull mess that was an embarrassment for everyone involved. It managed to make its budget back, but those costs don’t include marketing costs, so there’s no way this thing didn’t just hemorrhage cash.

John Carter

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WHY’S IT A FAILURE: It cost $264 million to make and when it came out everyone made fun of it

John Carter was being called a surefire disaster way before it came out; it was a HUGE budget sci-fi action adventure movie starring a guy who was very much not a movie star. This movie actually has its champions, so it’s more dignified than The Lone Ranger (its Disney Live Action Disaster brother), but John Carter is still regarded as a real embarrassment.

Mars Needs Moms

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WHY’S IT A FAILURE: Its name sounds like a porno, for starters…

Mars Needs Moms made $39 million dollars, and cost $150 million to make. That’s bonkers. That’s an absurd amount of money to lose. It’s not an official “Walt Disney Classic”, so that helps the studio out, but this thing is an absolute mess. And that title… I mean, yeah, the “Mars Needs Moms” book was popular, but you make it into a movie and it just ends up sounding like “MILF Hunter: Mars Edition.” I feel very strongly about this.

Alice Through The Looking Glass

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WHY’S IT A FAILURE: $69 million domestically, versus $334 million for the first film

Both Alice in Wonderland movies are a total mess, and it is personally offensive to me how much money the first one made, because it is also not good, but whatever. I need to settle down. Alice Through The Looking Glass is a sequel no one wanted that strays even further from the source material than the original did. It dumb.

Alice In Wonderland

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WHY’S IT A FAILURE: Pleased no one, critics or audiences

That’s right, Alice in Wonderland, the animated classic, failed upon its initial release. Fans of the books felt like it had been dumbed down (which it had, because it was a children’s family movie), audiences didn’t turn out (it only made $2.4 million against a $3 million dollar budget), and Walt Disney felt like Alice the character didn’t have any warmth. God bless the mind-expanding drug crazed ’60s, which helped this movie find new life.

Can you believe that Disney bounced back from some of these? (I can. They’re an enormous corporation. They have ways to deal with this.)

Contributor: 
Will Weldon
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the rabbit is mad
home on the range
John Carter, you schmuck
tonto
queen of hearts
not sure whats going on here
glowing sword

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