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Indiana Jones Faces Box Office Bomb Amid Rumors of Female Lead Taking Over the Franchise

Despite reviving the titular character from the beloved 1980s film franchise, Disney/Lucasfilm’s “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” is destined to flop at the box office during its theatrical run as it was rumored the female lead would replace, or at least belittle, the adventurous hero.

Over its three-day opening weekend beginning Friday, the fifth and final installment grossed $60 million in the U.S., according to the U.K.’s Guardian, falling short of Box Office Pro’s June 23 projections of between $68 million and $95 million at the domestic box office.

For comparison, the franchise’s previous film, 2008’s “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” had a domestic gross of $100 million over its opening weekend 15 years ago, according to The Numbers.

The sequel is expected to exit theaters with a domestic total of $211 million to $325 million.

Whether the fifth “Indiana Jones” movie will have legs at the worldwide box office remains to be seen, but there may be a valid reason for the audience’s lack of interest in the movie.

WARNING: Spoilers for “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” follow.

A plot point leaked at the end of May shortly after the movie’s Cannes Film Festival premiere alleged Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s character, Helena Shaw, punched and knocked out Harrison Ford’s Indy to save the day. This is indeed what happens near the end of the film. (In fact, all of the leak’s spoiler-filled details are accurate. You can read them here on Reddit if you are curious.)

Additionally, rumors have circulated online about Waller-Bridge’s character replacing Indy and potentially starring in her own spinoff. The final film, however, did not confirm that suspicion, and neither did the actress who plays her.

“There’s no replacing Indiana Jones in any way,” she said in an interview with Vanity Fair. “But I feel like the character herself — she did feel fresh on the page, and there is a sense of, is there room in the world for someone like this? So I do think there’s room for a slightly clumsier, bruised, limping female action star, maybe, in the future.”

No “Indiana Jones” spinoffs have been announced.

Director James Mangold told Variety of his disinterest in helming a future project with Waller-Bridge in the lead, calling such an idea “large-scale advertising” and not “storytelling anymore.”

Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy also weighed in, saying while it’s “entirely possible” for a Shaw-led project to happen, “we’re not having any of those conversations right now. We’re just focused on finishing this with Harrison.”

Though it’s unclear what the future holds for Waller-Bridge’s involvement in the franchise, the fact remains the film disrespected Indy while touting Shaw as a “strong female protagonist” — one who possessed little to no personality or character arc throughout the 150-minute runtime.

It appears audiences weren’t having it.

With such a nostalgic character returning one last time to the big screen, “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” should be a box office hit, on paper. However, the film is set to lose upward of $260 million, according to OMB Reviews, since it will likely fall well below its break-even point.

As outlined in the video, the film’s production budget was reported to be $295 million before marketing, skyrocketing its break-even point to the $737 million to $885 million range.

Based on its current box office trajectory, it won’t hit the necessary mark, let alone turn a profit.

Despite its 68 percent fresh Rotten Tomatoes score, “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” is set to be another box office failure for Disney despite the studio’s massive investment in the production.

Disney’s other recent flops include “Lightyear,” “Strange World,” “The Little Mermaid” live-action remake and most recently “Elemental.”

  • andy says:

    zero creativity in hollywood. it is all redo the old hits with new people and make it sound new because they put women in a role that was a man’s, or a different color than the original. find authors that tell a good story, buty their rights and make a movie. there is a reason why stephen king has so many books made into movies – he tells a good story. Pretty sure there are other authors out there telling good stories.

  • Thomas says:

    Well at least she was a real woman. They could have went with a Bud Light character. That is where they are headed. I realize that film is an escape and some of the Action is in reality a fantasy but at least in the past it was some 6’4″ dude with shoulders as wide as a Buick doing the ass kicking. Now they want you to believe a 5′ 3″ 120 pound woman beat the hell out of 20 huge men. It is all part of emasculating men. Women do not want Beta Males.

  • Bret says:

    There is no creativity in Hollywood. Bringing back a character that no one under 40 knows is the best they can do This movie is just a precursor, a test to gauge the level of demand for the Indiana JANE sequel. Movies like the terminal List did well but it was too conservative and a surprise that it was even produced. Hollywood can continue to be woke and make woke movies bc they only need one blockbuster to financially get back in the black.

  • kas says:

    Sean Connery did it better as the old geezer.

  • Once Proud Veteran says:

    Well now that I know its obviously a liberal themed production and Disney is involved, I’ll just go bowling or maybe ride my Harley today. Go push this on somebody of your own wokeness, whatever the hell that even means! No thanks!

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