The Real Reason These Animated Disney Movies Bombed
Nowadays, animated Disney movies are a surefire recipe for box office success. Unfortunately, in the past, even Disney has put out a few commercial duds. Here’s the real reason why these animated Disney movies bombed at the box office.
Fantasia was the passion project of Walt Disney himself. In fact, he was so in awe of the 1940 musical that he once said:
“Fantasia is timeless. It may run 10, 20 or 30 years. It may run after I’m gone. Fantasia is an idea in itself. I can never build another Fantasia. I can improve. I can elaborate. That’s all.”
Sadly, Walt’s passion failed to translate into initial massive box office returns. The film’s first screenings at a roadshow engagement didn’t turn a profit thanks to the expensive costs of setting up the sound system known as Fantasound, which was intended for use in theaters showing Fantasia. Those costs meant that Fantasia was always going to struggle to turn a profit. On top of that, the avant-garde nature of the feature initially turned off general moviegoers and even some critics. In the end, Fantasia lost Disney the modern equivalent of more than $15 million and nearly drove the company into bankruptcy.
While Fantasia initially proved to be too costly and unusual to be successful right away, the film would find itself profitable decades later. A 1969 theatrical re-release saw Fantasia finally turning a profit, while a subsequent re-release in 1990 took in $25 million. So, despite bombing in its first theatrical run, Fantasia did indeed live up to Walt Disney’s hopes of running long after he was gone.
Watch this video for more on the real reasons these animated Disney movies bombed!
- Fantasia | 0:00
- Sleeping Beauty | 1:38
- The Black Cauldron | 2:51
- The Rescuers Down Under | 3:52
- Hercules | 5:13
- Fantasia 2000 | 6:31
- Atlantis: The Lost Empire | 7:47
- Treasure Planet | 8:56
- Home on the Range | 10:19
- Winnie the Pooh | 11:21