The Quorum

A few weeks ago WISH looked like it would easily top ENCANTO. Not so much anymore. What happened?

With the arrival of WISH, Disney’s 2023 is over. In fact, the Mouse House is taking an extended break until June. As of now, the studio’s next release is INSIDE OUT 2, due next June. Quite frankly, the break might do them some good on the heels of THE MARVELS collapsing at the box office and WISH ending on a down note.

To be fair, it’s hard out there for original IP in the family space. While THE SUPER MARIO BROS. MOVIE, SONICE THE HEDGEHOG 2, and MINIONS: THE RISE OF GRU all opened above $70M in the post-pandemic era. The largest opening for an original belongs to ELEMENTAL at $30M.

For a while, it looked like WISH would easily top $30M over the three-day weekend. Take a look at the awareness numbers. Disney did a terrific job of letting people know this movie exists. At 57% awareness, WISH scored much higher than Disney’s previous two Thanksgiving offerings. ENCANTO ($27M) was at 30% awareness while STRANGE WORLD ($12M) only got to 25%.

While awareness is important, it doesn’t always translate to ticket sales. That’s where interest comes in. In September and October, interest for WISH (dark blue) was soaring. It was higher than both STRANGE (black) and ENCANTO (light blue). But in the final two weeks before release, interest stalled then slipped from 47% to 45%. At the same distance from release, ENCANTO started to soar.

Despite a rise, in the end, WISH simply couldn’t keep up, ending its run with interest below ENCANTO. So, while lots of people know about the film, they don’t necessarily want to see it.

Early tracking for INSIDE OUT 2 looks quite strong. And given that the first film is one of the most beloved films in the Pixar canon, the sequel should represent a return to form. In the meantime, Disney had several months to figure out how 2023 ended on such a down note.

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