Disney’s ‘Dumbo’ Cost More Than ‘Captain Marvel’ and ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’

Disney’s live-action re-imagining of Walt Disney’s animated 1941 classic Dumbo reportedly cost the studio $170 million, soaring above the budgets of Marvel Studios blockbusters Captain Marvel and Ant-Man and the Wasp. The Brie Larson-led Captain Marvel carried a production budget of $152 million (per Variety) while the Ant-Man sequel, pairing Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly as superhero partners, cost somewhere around $162 million (per Variety).

The Tim Burton-directed Dumbo comes nearly a decade after the Batman and Edwards Scissorhands filmmaker won Disney $1.025 billion at the worldwide box office with the Johnny Depp and Mia Wasikowska-starring Alice in Wonderland, the 3D spectacle that ignited Disney’s modern strategy of mining its animated catalogue and transforming its most iconic films into live-action reboots. Dumbo, which launches tomorrow, has since debuted on Rotten Tomatoes with approval from just 55 percent of critics, making it “rotten.”

That’s the first rotten among Disney’s crop of animated redos since 2014’s Maleficent, the Sleeping Beauty re-imagining that still went on to conjure up $758 million at the global box office. (2016’s Alice Through the Looking Glass, a critical and commercial bomb, had little in common with Disney’s 1951 film.)

According to Box Office Mojo, Disney is anticipating a $50+ million opening weekend while some sources expect Dumbo to fly to $60-65 million when the big-eared elephant rolls out to more than 4,200 theaters.

The lower end projects put Dumbo ahead of last summer’s Christopher Robin ($24.6m opening, $197 box office) and 2016’s Looking Glass ($26.9m opening, $299m BO), and Pete’s Dragon ($21.5m opening, $143m BO). Cinderella in 2015 opened to $67m, going on to gross $543m, followed by 2016’s The Jungle Book ($103m opening, $966m BO) and 2017’s Beauty and the Beast ($174m opening, $1.26b BO). Disney is also hoping for big numbers with Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin, starring Will Smith as the blue-skinned Genie brought to life by Robin Williams in the 1992 animated film, and the Jon Favreau-directed The Lion King, a virtual production remake of the 1994 film.

Dumbo, starring Colin Farrell, Danny DeVito, Eva Green, Alan Arkin, and Michael Keaton, opens March 29. Marvel Studios next releases Avengers: Endgame April 26.

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