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Wish Starts Slowly at the Box Office, But All is Not Lost

Disney’s animated film Wish is off to a sluggish start at the North American box office. With $31.7 million earned in its first 5 days on American soil, it ranks behind The Hunger Games Prequel and Napoleon. Lukewarm reviews and lack of audience enthusiasm explain this disappointing score.

When Disney brings out the big guns, exceptional box office scores are expected. Alas, their latest animated production Wish: Asha and the Magic Star is struggling to find its audience overseas. Yet despite initially mediocre numbers, the musical feature could rebound thanks to the holiday season. Explanations below.

A Lackluster Launch in the United States

In 5 days, Wish has amassed only $31.7 million domestically. A paltry figure compared to other Disney blockbuster hits like Moana ($55 million), Ralph Breaks the Internet ($56 million) or even Encanto ($40 million). Above all, the blockbuster is upstaged by two formidable challengers.

To everyone’s surprise, Wish ranks third at the box office behind The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. The Hunger Games prequel rakes in $42 million in 5 days while the film Napoleon starring Joaquin Phoenix banks $32.5 million. Two critically acclaimed films that have clearly won over American audiences.

Wish : Asha et la Bonne Étoile - Montage MDN
Wish: Asha and the Good Star – Montage MDN

Mixed Early Reception

Often an indicator of trends, word of mouth around Wish is far from enthusiastic. On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, less than 50% of viewers gave the film a positive review. Its storyline and fairy tale world don’t seem to have wowed overseas crowds.

Figures from international markets are equally unimpressive. $17.5 million collected across 4 major territories, enough to give Disney executives cold sweats. Fortunately, the film has yet to release in all global regions.

Potential Holiday Season Rebound

Although its launch is lackluster, all is not lost for Wish. The musical still has numerous upcoming releases including France. Above all, the approaching Christmas period could give it a second wind. Children’s movies traditionally benefit from school vacations and family gatherings. And with its magical atmosphere and catchy soundtrack, Wish ticks all the boxes to captivate a young audience thirsty for enchantment. Moreover, American critics praise the sumptuous animation and infectious musical numbers. Reasons to expect a miraculous comeback.

So while Disney has to swallow a botched domestic release on top of the Guardians of the Galaxy failure, the studio with big ears could still have roses tinted glasses with the year-end holidays. To be continued!

Header Image Credit: Disney FR – movie trailer

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