Coming off its biggest year at the box office yet, Disney might have its first dud of the year in The Call of the Wild. The Harrison Ford vehicle based on Jack London's classic novel is shaping up for a fairly hefty $50 million, according to industry insiders. In a new a report from Variety, The Call of the Wild reportedly cost a whopping $125 million to make, which means it'd need to gross between $250 million and $275 million at the box office to break even, thanks to the wonders of Hollywood accounting. The flick has earned $79 million through Saturday, its second weekend in theaters.
The release of the flick comes at a time of uncertainty in international markets over the coronavirus outbreak, which has caused the closure of most public facilities — including movie theaters — in big box office markets such as China and Japan. Despite walking away with an A- CinemaScore, The Call of the Wild settled with a much more subtle 62 percent Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. According to the review-aggregating site, the movie is "undermined by distracting and unnecessary CGI."
By August 2019, Walt Disney Studios had five movies to gross over one billion dollars worldwide. That number eventually increased to seven movies by the end of the year, thanks to late releases in Frozen 2 and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The House of Mouse ended up grossing over $11 billion on the year, surpassing the industry-wide record of $7.6 billion it set in 2016.
Admittedly, 2019 was a particularly strong year for Disney, with releases including the likes of Avengers: Endgame, The Lion King, and the final film in the Star Wars franchise's Skywalker Saga. Lucasfilm doesn't have a single movie on the release slate for 2020 and Marvel Studios has large unknowns in Black Widow and The Eternals. Other potential bright spots for the studio this year might come with the live-action Mulan remake, Pixar's Onward, or 20th Century's Free Guy.
The Call of the Wild was directed by Chris Sanders from a script by Michael Green (Logan). It was released under Disney's 20th Century Studios banner. The Call of the Wild is now in theaters.