Two more films have joined the likes of Pixar’s “Elemental” and Warner Bros.’ “The Flash” with a box office launch well short of their budgets, as Disney/Lucasfilm’s “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” has opened to $60 million from 4,600 theaters while DreamWorks Animation’s “Ruby Gillman: Teenage Kraken” has suffered the worst opening weekend in studio history.
While meeting pre-release projections, “Indiana Jones 5” is well below the $100 million opening of “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” in 2008. Overseas, the film isn’t doing much better with $70 million from 52 markets, giving it a $130 million global start.
Even if some of this film’s primarily age 45+ audience is still to come in during the Fourth of July holiday — Disney is projecting an $82 million 5-day total through Tuesday — that’s not going to put “Dial of Destiny” in a position to turn a profit against its reported $295 million budget before a costly marketing campaign that included a premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.
Reception for “Indiana Jones 5” has been somewhat better than “The Flash” and “Crystal Skull,” earning a B+ on CinemaScore, 4/5 stars among general audiences and 4.5/5 among families on PostTrak while Rotten Tomatoes scores stand at 68% critics and 89% audience. That could help the film avoid a catastrophic second-weekend drop akin to the one “The Flash” suffered last week, but it likely won’t be much competition to July releases like “Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning” and “Barbie,” which have shown stronger tracking with 18-35 audiences.
“Dial of Destiny,” by comparison, has an opening weekend audience that is 59% over 35, while audiences under the age of 25 (who would have been no older than 9 years old when “Crystal Skull” came out) only compose 25% of the audience, a sign that Indiana Jones is a character that holds little interest among younger adult moviegoers that usually determine the success or failure of a tentpole movie. This leaves “Dial of Destiny” needed to leg out among older moviegoers and parents who grew up watching Indy and want to share one more ride with Harrison Ford’s hero with their kids.
Meanwhile, Universal/DreamWorks’ “Ruby Gillman: Teenage Kraken” is DOA with an abysmal $5.2 million opening weekend from 3,400 theaters. Two weeks after “Elemental” earned the worst opening weekend for Pixar, “Ruby Gillman” now has that same distinction for DreamWorks Animation, falling below the $6.1 million opening of “Spirit Untamed” in 2021.
And like “Elemental,” “Ruby Gillman” has won over the families who did go out to see the film, earning an A- on CinemaScore and Rotten Tomatoes scores of 65% critics and 84% audience. That won’t be enough to get the film out of the red theatrically, as “Ruby Gillman” sports a reported $70 million budget.
Among holdovers, “Elemental” is in a narrow race for the No. 2 spot with Sony’s “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,” with “Spider-Verse” currently having the edge with $11.5 million as it improves its excellent domestic total to $340 million and its global total to $607 million.
“Elemental” is just behind with $11.3 million, bringing its total to $88.8 million domestic and $186.8 million worldwide. The Pixar romance is continuing to hold well and even saw its weekend grosses increase in 12 overseas markets, but it is still in the process of minimizing its theatrical losses as its global grosses will only now exceed its $200 million reported production budget during its third week in theaters.
Sony’s R-rated comedy “No Hard Feelings” is in fourth with $7.5 million, as the film still has yet to reach a break-even point against its $45 million budget with a 10-day total of $29.3 million domestic and $49.3 million worldwide.
Paramount’s “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” completes the top 5 as it takes $7 million in its fourth weekend. The Autobots’ return to theaters continues to languish after its hopeful opening weekend, passing the domestic total of “Transformers: The Last Knight” with $136 million but still short of breaking even against its $200 million budget with $381 million worldwide.