Why’d it Bomb? The Haunted Mansion (2003)
Kevthewriter wants to know why Disney’s The Haunted Mansion couldn’t duplicate the success of Pirates of the Caribbean.
In the early 2000’s, Michael Eisner got a terrible idea, among his other terrible ideas: to make movies based off of Disney World/Disneyland Attractions! The first attempt, The Country Bears, was a critical and box office flop. But Pirates of the Caribbean was a huge success and a big phenomenon that spawned many sequels that are being produced to this day. Then came The Haunted Mansion. While it wasn’t a giant flop at the box office, it did bomb domestically and, overall, when you look at the numbers, Eisner and the rest of the people at Disney were probably disappointed by the overall BO gross. But, considering this movie was based on such a popular attraction, why didn’t it do better? Especially following Pirates?
3. Bad Release Date
As I pointed out in my Cat in the Hat article, this movie was released in late November which, honestly, is probably not the best release date for a Haunted Mansion movie. If Disney had been smarter about this, they should’ve released it in October or at least some date that wasn’t close to Christmas time. I mean, would there really be that big of a market for a Haunted House movie in late November or early December? Probably not!
As I also pointed out in that article, there were a LOT of kids/family movies coming out around then-Brother Bear, Looney Tunes: Back in Action, The Cat in the Hat, and Elf. It probably got lost in the sea of other family movies, as families had a lot of choices during that time.
1. The Plot
As the previews made it clear, it was less of a creepy/scary movie then a family comedy starring Eddie Murphy that was set in a haunted mansion. This probably pissed off a lot of fans of the ride who wanted a creepier movie and, as a result, they stayed away.
Weirdly enough, Disney is releasing another horror-themed film, Coco, during Thanksgiving time. But, being a Pixar film, that already gives it an advantage to at least make more than this movie. Plus its only real competition for the family market is Wonder and The Star (which probably won’t do well). But will it do well critically or will it be another Good Dinosaur? Only time will tell. All we know is it probably won’t be another Haunted Mansion.