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December 01, 2022

"House of Mouse" Bombs

The Walt Disney Company had high hopes for its latest animated movie, Strange World. The film premiered over the extended Thanksgiving weekend in 4,174 North American theaters, but appears to have flopped at the box office.

Strange World was projected to bring in between $30 and $40 million over the five days, but only managed $12 million, a small fraction of the $180 million it cost to make. Perhaps it will make up the profit gap in the weeks ahead, but if it doesn't, Disney might want to rethink its increasing promotion of themes many parents aren't comfortable with. Strange World features a homosexual teen romance.

That theme resulted in Disney not even releasing the film in over 20 countries where LGBTQ+ content is not culturally or religiously welcomed. Over the summer, another Disney movie, "Light Year," included a lesbian kissing scene and also bombed at the box office. Disney has come a long way from Mickey and Minnie Mouse and other child-friendly entertainment. And parents are having a harder time finding entertainment for their children that doesn't push a radical sexuality agenda.

Disney has been mired in the culture wars since it unwisely caved into its LGBTQ+ employees and outside groups by announcing it would try to repeal a Florida law that prohibited children in kindergarten through third grade from being exposed to sexually explicit material in the classroom.

Disney is a big economic force in Florida, but Governor Ron DeSantis did not cave into the pressure. The company ended up with a PR disaster on its hands. Disney's stock has gone down 40% this year for a variety of reasons, including the fear by investors that Disney no longer understands who their audience is.

Disney recently announced it is bringing back Bob Iger as CEO. He previously served in that role from 2005 to 2020. Iger's return could help revive Disney's fortunes, but not if the company keeps insulting America's parents.

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