Disney's $4.05 billion acquisition of the once venerated Lucasfilm in 2012 was initially seen as a potential goldmine for the company that would bring them billions in revenues for decades to come. However, much like their ill fated acquisition of 21st Century Fox, Disney made a host of errors in the handling of their newfound creative properties. The primary error being that they did not care about the franchises they were purchasing.
Disney thought that in buying Lucasfilm they were actually buying the fandom that comes with it, but you can't buy the fans and force them to consume your poorly written fodder, as much as corporations surely wish they could. This same stunted manner of thinking was also revealed to be a driving force behind Amazon's conquest of the Lord Of The Rings properties – The idea that if you build it, no matter how terrible it is, the fans will come watch it because they are simpering cattle.
Well, this didn't turn out to be true for Amazon or Disney because they weren't actually buying a fandom, they were taking on the stewardship of beloved classic characters. And once a company mistreats those characters, either out of stupidity, lack of talent or because they have a political agenda, the fans are out the door along with their precious box office cash.
Disney's next mistake was putting a rabid feminist like Kathleen Kennedy at the helm of some of the biggest franchises in Hollywood history. Kennedy is perhaps best known as Steven Spielberg's coffee girl, a secretary that he himself noted was not very good at her job. Somehow, she managed to weasel her way into assistant producing in her 20s (who knows what she did to climb the ladder so quickly).
Looking at her production credits people might think Kennedy is incredibly accomplished, but few if any of her successes occurred without a major director like Spielberg closely monitoring and controlling each project. And once she was truly on her own, the bombs started rolling in.
The latest and perhaps greatest failure by Kennedy is ironically the last franchise IP that Lucasfilm had yet to ruin: Indiana Jones.
Disney's Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny was clearly a forced scheme to bring back a favored male hero and replace him with a narcissistic female protagonist that spouts woke rhetoric. It's the same formula Disney and Lucasfilm have been using with every major reboot for the past several years. But now, it's beginning to cost them...
Dial Of Destiny has generated a dismal box office of around $250 million, and Disney needs a projected $900 million just to break even (this includes marketing costs). The movie is now on track to becoming one of Disney's worst flops of all time.
The massive initial cost of making the film ($300 million) crippled Lucasfilm's chances from the very beginning. The inclusion of notorious woke activist Phoebe Waller-Bridge as the actress slated to take the reins of the franchise didn't help matters.
Based on serial TV shows and pulp comics from the 1940s and 1950s, the appeal of George Lucas' Indiana Jones movies was that they brought men's adventure stories to life on the big screen. Indiana Jones is an archetype of the courageous explorer willing to take risks in the pursuit of discovery, all while defeating the bad guys and getting the girl along the way. It wins with audiences because the premise is simple and the characters are well written.
The best way to destroy such a successful formula is by complicating it with personal politics, as well as putting a feminist in charge of a man's fantasy tale.
The rise of woke marketing and agenda based storytelling in Hollywood hit its peak early, with 2016 being the “coming out party” year for far-left ideology in films. Hollywood has always been annoyingly progressive in their messaging, but they were usually kept in check by the business side of movie making. Bringing in the box office meant keeping your politics to yourself, to a point. But, by 2016 production companies apparently determined that they now cared more about asserting their cultism than making profits.
Both American and foreign audiences have caught up to the game, and this has resulted in 2023 becoming one of the worst seasons for big studio films in recent memory. In the meantime, the establishment media continues to pretend as if they don't know why this is happening. They no longer have covid lockdowns to blame for poor theatrical showings and are scrambling to come up with a rationale.
The reason is, of course, easy to see for everyone outside of Southern California and the corporate media – Get woke, go broke. They'll never admit it, but they also can't hide it. The epic fail of Dial Of Destiny might just signal the final death knell for woke Hollywood.