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Harrison Ford’s The Call of the Wild had a fairly big start at the box office last weekend, bringing in $24.8 million and landing at #2 at the box office, losing only to Sonic The Hedgehog. This weekend, the movie saw The Call of the Wild drop to third place as newcomer The Invisible Man cleaned up. Now, it looks like the Harrison Ford flick will lose millions at the box office.
Look, opening at $24.8 million is not too shabby for most movies. In fact, The Invisible Man opened to $29 million domestically this weekend and we’ve been calling it a success. Why is The Call of the Wild different? Namely because the movie cost an alleged whopping $135 million to make before P&A.
That’s a bit of a hefty price tag for a movie of The Call of the Wild’s ilk. Yes, Harrison Ford is still a big star and the movie is based on a classic Jack London novel, but the movie wasn’t heavily advertised like big budget fare ahead of its release and isn’t doing big budget numbers. Because of this, it’s likely to lose about $50 million at the box office, according to early estimates from Variety.
It’s a trajectory similar to what we’ve seen with Birds of Prey, which made $33 million domestically opening weekend and has gone on to make $200 million worldwide. For a lot of movies those would be profitable numbers, but when the budget is around or over $100 million and the studios have to advertise the film and then split revenue with the theaters on top of that, it’s hard to get to profitability.
Prior to this weekend’s box office, we talked out how the movie had a decent opening and had it not cost $135 million to make, it would likely be sitting pretty at this point. But with its large budget devoted to creating CGI animals, The Call of the Wild seems to have bitten off more than it can chew and will be a loser for 20th Century Studios, formerly known as 20th Century Fox.
Ultimately, it’s expected The Call of the Wild will need to make $250-$275 million just to break even, which is the same uphill battle, again, that Birds of Prey is currently facing over at Warner Bros. So far, The Call of the Wild has made a little over $79 million worldwide.
There’s a ways to go before the movie even comes close to breaking even, much less profitability.
It likely does not help that theaters are shutting down in some countries due to the coronavirus gripping hold. Ultimately, however, I think that sometimes the budgets of movies get out of hand as things like CGI and P&A (the advertising arm of a movie) are factored in. That may be the case for The Call of The Wild, but whatever the reasons, the studio is unlikely to see enough dollar signs from the venture, although we did get some excellent Harrison Ford quotes out of the adventure movie, if I do say so myself.
The Call of The Wild is in theaters now. You can see what else will be competing with the Harrison Ford film in the weeks to come with CinemaBlend's full movies guide.