Indiana Jones’ box office destiny? A lukewarm $60 million debut in North America

This image released by Lucasfilm shows Ethann Isidore, from left, Harrison Ford and Phoebe Waller-Bridge in a scene from “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.” (Lucasfilm Ltd. via AP)

Indiana Jones, and executives at the Walt Disney Co. and Lucasfilm, made a somewhat dispiriting discovery this weekend. Moviegoers didn’t rush to the theater in significant numbers to see “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” and say goodbye to Harrison Ford as the iconic archaeologist.

The film, reportedly budgeted north of $250 million, came in on the lower end of projections with $60 million in ticket sales from 4,600 North American theaters, according to studio estimates Sunday.


Including $70 million from international showings in 52 markets, “Dial of Destiny” celebrated a $130 million global opening. It easily earned the No. 1 title but was not the high-rolling sendoff for one of modern cinema’s most iconic actor/character pairings that anyone hoped. Disney is projecting that it will make $82 million domestically through the fourth of July holiday and $152 million globally.

“Dial of Destiny” is the long-delayed fifth installment in the Steven Spielberg/George Lucas-created adventure series that began in 1981, and the first Spielberg himself hasn’t directed. Veteran James Mangold stepped in to take the reins overseeing the Spielberg-approved script, which finds an older Dr. Jones retiring from his university job and swept up on a new adventure with his goddaughter Helena (Phoebe Waller-Bridge).

The film made its splashy premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May, with a fitting celebration of Ford, who has said this was his last time playing the character.

But then it was hit with lukewarm reviews. This was an unexpected and unwelcome hurdle, considering it was coming after the maligned fourth film, 2008’s “Indiana Jones and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.” Another contributing snag was that a significant portion of the target audience, older viewers, don’t tend to buy many tickets on opening weekend for big blockbusters.

Second place went to “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” with $11.5 million, bringing its domestic total to around $340 million. “Elemental” landed in third place with $11.3 million.

Aside from “Dial of Destiny,” the weekend’s other main new opener was the animated “Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken,” which debuted in sixth place with $5.2 million.

“Dial of Destiny’s” underwhelming debut comes just a few weeks after both Warner Bros.’ “The Flash” and Disney/Pixar’s “Elemental” had lackluster openings in North America. “Elemental,” like Indy 5, also premiered at Cannes to middling reception.

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