“Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” isn’t showing signs that it will turn a theatrical profit for Disney and Lucasfilm, earning $24 million from 4,600 theaters on its opening day as industry estimates project a $60 million opening weekend.
While that’s on the lower end of the $60-$65 million projections that independent trackers had for the fifth and final “Indiana Jones” movie, it’s well short of the $100 million opening weekend that “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” had in 2008. Those are the sort of numbers that “Dial of Destiny” needs to break even against its reported $295 million budget before a top-dollar marketing campaign that included a world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and screenings and press tours for the cast in Berlin and Sicily.
Full demographic breakdowns will be available on Sunday, but presale numbers indicated that interest in “Indiana Jones 5” skewed significantly towards older audiences, and that turnout from the 18-35-year-old demographic was not up to what’s needed for a tentpole film at this budget level.
Word-of-mouth has leaned positive with a B+ on CinemaScore — better than the B for “Crystal Skull” and recent DC bomb “The Flash” — to go with Rotten Tomatoes scores of 68% critics and 89% audience. PostTrak scores have been 79% overall positive rating with 4/5 stars.
While this may help the film next weekend, when the new releases are a new installment from the “Insidious” horror series and Lionsgate’s R-rated comedy “Joy Ride,” it’s unlikely to help “Indiana Jones” hold up against top July titles like “Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning” and “Barbie,” which are showing greater traction with younger audiences.
Also releasing this weekend is Universal/DreamWorks Animation’s “Ruby Gillman: Teenage Kraken,” which is launching outside the top five to an anemic $6 million opening. That’s among the lowest opening weekends ever for DreamWorks, standing alongside the $6.1 million opening of the 2021 film “Spirit Untamed,” a movie that was aimed at families with younger children.
Families who did see “Ruby Gillman” have generally enjoyed the film, as it has earned an A- on CinemaScore and an 83% RT audience score. But the inability of this film to capture the attention of a wider audience is another sign of how animation at the post-shutdown box office has been controlled by big-name IP, while titles like “Ruby Gillman” and Pixar’s “Elemental” that don’t have already recognizable characters have floundered.