The release date for Strange World on Disney Plus has been announced, less than a month after it hit theaters.

After bombing the global box office, Disney's latest animated film is coming to Disney Plus in time for Christmas (or the holiday season, if you're not celebrating this holiday event). In a press release, Disney revealed that Strange World is coming to its streaming platform on Friday, December 23, exactly one month after it was released in theaters around the world.

For a film meant to usher in Disney's centennial celebrations - the legendary studio turns 100 in 2023 - the earlier-than-expected release of Disney Plus' Strange World will be a blow to the entertainment company. After all, it was released on Thanksgiving weekend, which is traditionally one of the busiest theatrical times of the year in the United States. Similarly, its all-star cast, which includes Jake Gyllenhaal, Dennis Quaid, and Lucy Liu, should have drawn people to see Strange World on the big screen.

And yet, with a production budget of between €135 million and €180 million, Strange World has only grossed €53,5 million since its theatrical release. So what went wrong?

Jaeger, Searcher and Ethan stand back to back as enemies close in on them in Strange World

Why did Strange World fail at the box office? (Image credit: Walt Disney Animation Studios)

For one thing, Strange World wasn't commercialized enough to attract viewers, well, go check it out.

Take me for example. As someone who covers the entertainment industry extensively, he knew that Strange World would be released on November 23. Disney also invited me to a Strange World preview event, where I (and other attendees) watched fun, colorful, action-packed scenes. Full clips from the animated movie. Later that day, I interviewed Roy Conli, one of the producers of Strange World and someone who has worked at Walt Disney Animation Studios for nearly 30 years, to find out how the daring Strange World rightfully honors Disney's 100-year legacy as the world leading study

So far so good, right? Not quite. This preview event took place in September, two months before Strange World arrived. In the eight weeks between attending that press meeting and the movie's release, I've seen little to no promotional material for Strange World. Everywhere.

In the UK (where I live) I saw an advertisement for Strange World in the wild, and it was on the side of a double-decker bus. Online, things weren't much better. In the month leading up to the launch, I saw four promotional videos on the Walt Disney Animation Studios YouTube channel, as well as four or five tweets from the Disney Animation Twitter account. For one of the few non-Marvel movies Disney is set to release in 2022, that's a negligible amount of promotional material.

Ok, that was my personal experience, maybe others noticed a bigger marketing campaign than me. Other potential viewers might have seen even less than I did, so how can Disney expect more casual viewers to see it if they don't even know it exists? Furthermore, without a large enough audience to see and enjoy it, Strange World was unable to receive a timely boost from word-of-mouth recommendations, which invariably hurt its box office earnings.

Ethan sees the titular Strange World in the 2022 Disney film of the same name

Strange World looks beautiful, but it didn't attract enough people. (Image credit: Walt Disney Animation Studios)

Then there's the competition that Strange World faced.

Unfortunately for Disney's latest animated feature, its release came less than two weeks after Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The latest superhero movie entry in the Marvel movie giant has topped the box office for five straight weeks (at the time of this writing, anyway). Movies released alongside or after Wakanda Forever therefore had no chance of success, including Strange World.

Some, like Devotion, starring Jonathan Majors, The Fabelmans, a semi-biographical film about Steven Spielberg, and Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, which received a limited theatrical release over Thanksgiving weekend, have done well. . However, their revenue pales in comparison to the Marvel Phase 4 movie. If they struggled to compete, what hope did Strange World really have?

With Avatar: The Way of Water, another one of our highly-anticipated new movies for 2022, almost certain to dominate the global box office when it opens on December 16, Disney made the right move by cutting its theatrical losses on Strange World. . .

So what are the chances that Strange World will do better on the Disney streamer and become one of the best movies on Disney Plus? They're not high, but that should give one of the best streaming services in the world a welcome boost over the holidays.

Strange World won't draw in viewers like Charm did in 2021. For one, Charm's surprising success on Disney Plus was due to the viral song We Don't Talk About Bruno taking off, storming the music charts and helped Charm win multiple gongs on the 2022 awards circuit. Strange World isn't an animated musical, so it won't enjoy the same unprecedented success.

The Madrigal family gathers outside their home in Encanto

Charm was a huge hit on Disney Plus after its average theatrical release. (Image credit: Disney/Pixar)

However, its Disney Plus release on December 23 should attract families and general animation fans to check it out. Yes, there is plenty of streaming content to catch up on over the Christmas period. And, in movies like Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio, Strange World competes for the public's attention during the holiday season.

As a simple, family-friendly watch filled with heart, humor, and true LGBTQ+ representation, Strange World could end up having more success on Disney Plus than it does in theaters. If so, that could make up for its disappointing box office receipts.

In the same way, however, it could convince Disney that its animated movies are doing better on its streaming service. With other Disney-owned animated films such as Pixar's Turning Red having already received direct releases on Disney Plus in the past 12 months, the box office flop of Strange World could signal another high point in the coffin for released Disney animated films. in theaters. feature films.

And frankly, that would be a shame. Animated movies deserve just as much to be seen on the biggest screen possible as their blockbuster counterparts. Strange World didn't succeed for a number of reasons, but its failure doesn't have to come at the expense of others. Things have gone bad for Strange World, but it's not too late for Disney to make things right with their future animated offerings.

For more content based on Disney Plus, read our guide to the best shows on Disney Plus. Alternatively, find out if the service is worth subscribing to with our Disney Plus review.

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