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Disney Confirmed How Much Money It Lost On Indiana Jones 5 - And It's A Lot

Disney lost a pretty chunk of change with "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny," which surprised execs and moviegoers by being a complete bomb at the box office. Upon release, the fifth "Indy" film nabbed a muted $60 million opening in late June 2023. The James Mangold-directed project, the first in the franchise not helmed by Steven Spielberg, ended its worldwide run with a mediocre $381 million showing. Disney initially said it shelled out just shy of $300 million for the Lucasfilm flop, though some outlets suggested the legacy sequel cost more than that. Now, financial statements from the studio (via Forbes) reveal that the studio lost north of $130 million on the picture. Statements also reveal that the film actually cost $387.2 million, almost $100 million more than the number that was initially reported. 

A $134 million loss is staggering, considering that "Dial of Destiny" was meant to be one final hurrah for star Harrison Ford. Initial reports following the release's disastrous debut had losses estimated at $100 million. The picture's failure played a key part in Disney's historic year of movie and TV show bombs

While "Dial of Destiny" wasn't a perfect sequel, it's disheartening that it didn't receive the financial goodwill of summer moviegoers. It has a decent 70% score on Rotten Tomatoes from critics. Opening night viewers were a tad bit more disappointed, awarding it a B+ CinemaScore. For context, that's a better grade than the B CinemaScore that the maligned "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" received. 

Why did Disney greenlight Dial of Destiny?

The failure of "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny" at the box office was sort of unprecedented. The franchise, which debuted with "Raiders of the Lost Ark" in 1981, has always been a consistent moneymaker for Lucasfilm, which was purchased by Disney back in 2012. The first flick in the "Indy" saga made over $365 million — that's more than $1.2 billion when adjusted for inflation. The franchise made massive gains in 2008 when the long-awaited "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" hit multiplexes. The fourth film was largely maligned by critics and audiences but still managed to nab over $786 million worldwide. 

Without the box office total of "Dial of Destiny," the franchise has made $1.9 billion. Based purely on previous box office receipts, it makes sense why Disney decided to move forward with the long-talked-about sequel, even if it featured a now 80-year-old Harrison Ford. Unfortunately, audiences just didn't care for the film (it had a disastrous 55% drop in its second weekend), probably because it felt like a routine legacy sequel/lazy cash grab. 

Based on the receipts, it seems like Indy's story has come to an end — at least until Disney decides to reboot the whole thing. While "Dial of Destiny" was supposed to be the film to round out Jones' legacy as a cinematic icon, it'll now be remembered for being one of the 2023 box office flops that changed Hollywood forever.