In a poignant scene from “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,” Indy bids farewell to his old friend Sallah at the airport. Just as Indy is about to embark on a new adventure, Sallah clenches his fist and encourages him to “give ’em hell.” Unfortunately, this uplifting moment is abruptly interrupted by a blaring car horn, as Indy realizes he’s blocking the street. A similar sense of deflation can be felt in the box office results this weekend as “Dial of Destiny,” which was anticipated to be Harrison Ford’s final outing as the beloved character, falls short of expectations both domestically and internationally.
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“Dial of Destiny” failed to meet its projected $140 million global debut, mustering only $130 million worldwide in its opening weekend. Surprisingly, several weeks ago, the superhero movie “The Flash” managed to earn approximately $10 million more during its worldwide premiere, despite its underwhelming performance. While “Dial of Destiny” obtained around $60 million from domestic theaters, this figure could potentially decrease when the final weekend numbers are tallied tomorrow. Being the fifth installment in the iconic film franchise, the production costs reportedly ranged between an astronomical $250 million and $330 million, placing it among the most expensive movies ever made.
Consequently, “Dial of Destiny” faces the daunting task of achieving something close to miraculous in order to turn a profit. Typically, a movie of this magnitude needs to earn twice its production budget to break even, implying that “Dial of Destiny” would have to reach a staggering $600 million globally. However, all hope is not lost for a comeback just yet. Franchises with older target audiences like James Bond and Mission: Impossible tend to start with modest numbers but often have enough staying power to sustain them for weeks. “No Time to Die” and “Mission: Impossible — Fallout” grossed nearly $800 million worldwide despite their domestic openings falling in the $60 million range.
Image by Jefferson Chacon
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Even the recent “Fast X” managed to cross the $700 million milestone worldwide after earning a mere $67 million during its domestic opening weekend. However, the key commonality among these franchises is their immense popularity both domestically and internationally, which might not necessarily be the case for the Indiana Jones series. Disney took a substantial gamble by premiering “Dial of Destiny” at this year’s Cannes Film Festival with great fanfare. Unfortunately, the move backfired as the film garnered negative reviews. Although the reactions in the United States were slightly more favorable, the outlook remains uncertain.
The movie’s B+ CinemaScore from the opening day audience does not bode well. To put it in perspective, the much-criticized fourth film, “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” received a B CinemaScore and actually had a better Rotten Tomatoes rating than “Dial of Destiny.” Despite mediocre audience sentiment, “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” managed to surpass $300 million domestically and over $700 million worldwide, proving that people were still eager to embark on new adventures with Indy. While it’s challenging to make a direct comparison across a franchise spanning four decades, the first film, “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” grossed $367 million worldwide in 1981. The controversial “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” earned $333 million worldwide in 1984, and “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” accumulated $474 million worldwide in 1989. Each of the first four movies was directed by Steven Spielberg, based on a story co-written by George Lucas.
“Dial of Destiny” is helmed by James Mangold and features a talented cast, including Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Antonio Banderas, Toby Jones, Boyd Holbrook, Ethann Isidore, and Mads Mikkelsen. You can watch our interview with Mangold here, and stay tuned to FilmSweep for more updates.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about box office performance
Q: How did “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” perform at the global box office?
A: “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” fell short of expectations at the global box office. It earned only $130 million worldwide in its opening weekend, lower than the projected $140 million.