Disney disappointed by box office performances of Fox films

Gregory Wakeman
Contributor
Sophie Turner in Dark Phoenix

When Disney bought 20th Century Fox earlier this year, it wasn’t really concerned about the movies that Fox had already shot and were preparing to release.

Disney purchased its rival so that it could incorporate their vast collection of television shows, documentaries and movies into their recently released streaming website Disney+.

There was also the added bonus that they now had their hands on X-Men and Fantastic Four, who are ultimately going to be incorporated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

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However, over the last few months, this meant that Disney have also had to watch their recently acquired Fox movies Dark Phoenix, Stuber, The Art Of Racing In The Rain and Ad Astra all under-perform at the box office.

Disney chief creative officer and co-chairman Alan Horn recently called these performances “disappointing” during Variety’s Business Managers Breakfast. But rather than dwelling on these past errors, Horn hopes the studio can learn from them instead. 

“There’s a good old saying: ‘The crow doesn’t taste very good but it is nutrition.’ Everyone learns from failure. I certainly experienced failure in my career. We were disappointed at the results of those [Fox] films.”

ALAN F. HORN (CO-CHAIRMAN AND CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER, THE WALT DISNEY STUDIOS) (The Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA via Getty Images)

“Before the acquisition, we were not allowed to see them because of the so-called gun jumping rules. We are not allowed to interact with them, give them advice, tell them what to do or what not to do. We were completely hands off, it was up to them.”

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“But it’s the movie business. I don’t want to be critical. Some of these pictures, I enjoyed them. I liked them. The Art of Racing in the Rain, I enjoyed the movie.”

“It’s just rough out there. It’s competitive. It’s more challenging than ever before. There are good films that will lose money and there are films that are not so good that will make money. Who knows.”

Disney will be hoping that Le Mans ’66 can help to make up for the underwhelming performances of Fox’s recent releases, especially since it has been touted as an Oscar contender, too.