Mouse Trap: Disney Reportedly Lost Over a Quarter of a Billion Dollars on Two Woke Movies

We have been discussing the right of shareholders to push back on the social and political campaigns of corporations that reduce share value or damage brands. The concern over the “Go Woke, Go Broke” trend is greatest with companies like Disney, which has been particularly open about its corporate advocacy. That has proven most controversial not just in its announced opposition to the Florida education bill but also children’s movies that contained controversial sexual elements. Now, Deadline has released an analysis showing that Disney lost a staggering quarter of a billion dollars on two of these woke movies: Lightyear and Strange World.

According to Deadline, Lightyear lost $106 million and Strange World lost a whopping $152 million.

“Strange World” is about an explorer family named the Clades. The movie, however, caused a great deal of buzz due to young Ethan talking to his grandfather about his same-sex crush on another boy.

Then there is the actual “Buzz.” In Buzz Lightyear, Disney featured a same-sex kiss. Pixar initially removed the scene. However, after the controversy over the Florida education bill, it was put back into the movie as a reported statement of solidarity.

For many parents, the sexuality elements were a statement that they did not want to address with their young children. The movies bombed at the box office to the tune of a quarter of a billion dollar loss.

Disney has even entered the fray over racial reparations with a controversial children’s episode.

Obviously Disney has company these days in being the subject of a public backlash.

In the case of Bud Light, there has been a backlash and boycott over its sponsorship deal with controversial transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.

While Anheuser-Busch InBev CEO Brendan Whitworth issued a non-apology apology, customers are reportedly shunning not just Bud Light but other Anheuser-Busch products.

For its part, Nike is unapologetic and pushed back on critics over its campaign featuring Mulvaney.  It told consumers that they needed to be “kind” and “inclusive” while declaring “hate speech, bullying, or other behaviors that are not in the spirit of a diverse and inclusive community will be deleted” from its sites.

These companies could trigger shareholder revolts if the moves continue to spark boycotts or diminish sales.

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) policies have already led to limited litigation, including shareholder demands for greater transparency or ESG commitment from companies. Some shareholders have also argued that the political views of corporate officers are being pursued over the profits of the company.

Such lawsuits on both sides can be difficult. Shareholders may allege a breach of the “duty of loyalty,” but must show that the officials acted in a self-interested manner or in bad faith. Alternatively, they could argue a breach of the “duty of care,” which requires a showing that the officials acted in a grossly negligent manner.

Disney executives were clearly willing to risk taking a loss over these political and artistic decisions. These moves may be personally gratifying and even professionally advantageous for individual executives, though it did not work out well for former Disney CEO Bob Chapek. The question is whether shareholders will continue to subsidize such campaigns regardless of their impact on the brand or the bottomline.

209 thoughts on “Mouse Trap: Disney Reportedly Lost Over a Quarter of a Billion Dollars on Two Woke Movies”

  1. “transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.”

    Why isn’t that considered “cultural appropriation?”

    Women don’t count?

    Only the mentally healthy can be guilty of it?

    1. Yes to me it is no different than if a white male “identified” as black, put on black face and portrayed being black in a stereotypical Jimmie Walker style. That is exactly what this mentally ill male is doing to women.

  2. Disney is just one of many major corporations that need to bow out of promoting radical politics and return to promoting goods and services that appeal to their customers. When you buy and ice cream cone nobody wants sprinkles of political manure on top.

  3. my wife and 3 kids used to go on family vacation’s to WDW every year. But we haven’t been in 6 years now b/c I will not support Disney in any fashion b/c of their politics. I know that $10,000+ that Disney will not be getting.

  4. Any product advertised using Dylan Mulvaney should result in negative sales. This man’s entire schtick is mocking women and girls. This celebrity-comedian-actor-whatever wannabe admitted last year on tic-toc that he was thrilled with the follower results once he declared “woman”. Worse, his brainless nincompoop female act also mocks every serious person who believes (rightly or wrongly) that they are transitioning for sincere reasons.

    There simply is no legitimate call for “kindness” or “tolerance” for someone who makes money from deliberately insulting women. Mulvaney — and anyone else doing similarly, whether an individual or advertising campaign — should be rendered poisonous until this offensive nonsense stops.

    1. End purchases of all Anheiser-Bush products. That includes Stella Artois, my former favorite.

  5. In other news, Anheuser-Busch admitted that for its new ad featuring a clydesdale horse, the company deliberately picked a gelding in order to placate the left.

    “Stallions display toxic masculinity, and mares pander to gender stereotypes,” the A-B CEO said in a statement, “…Geldings now best describe our new corporate values.”

    1. They create an incident, quit their “jobs” and get a book/movie deal.

      I can’t wait to read the book and see the prequel, “Jussie Smollett, The Movie.”

      They must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

  6. ESG is a silly construct for making economic decisions. I’m an employee of the Mouse House. Great company. Just wish it would get back to making great content and leave the politics in the parking lot.

  7. Under Walt, the Disney name promised wholesome entertainment for kids and an empire was raised.

    Some will remember this:

    It was wonderful American family television, mixing music and dancing with stories of American heroes, science and fantasy. Disney may have been universally loved at the time. Even Khrushchev wanted to go to Disneyland when he visited America. [He was denied entry].

    The empire is still mighty but the inner rot is smelly and become visible. They can’t help promoting more decay apparently.

    It is not a good sign when reports of billion dollar losses lead to rejoicing in Comments on web pages. So much for universally loved.

    Disney is becoming a sort of overweight, bloated, supperating plague victim stretched out and dying in an offal strewn alley that fewer and fewer dare to enter or even can enter without revulsion or fortified by drinking a sixpack of Bud Light.

    I like it when they lose billions on their twisted propaganda and when they fire thousands of their employees. A couple years ago they, the fired employees, could have been told to learn to code but now that doesn’t work so well either. Woke Silicon Valley learned from Musk that they, too, can safely fire woke deadwood.

    I think Burger King is hiring. They just make hamburgers and strive to please their customers.

      1. Boocat…,

        Am I certain about that?

        I find that lately I am no longer certain about anything.

          1. Estovir,

            Thanks for that. The account is horrific and is consistent with other reports I have read about Portland. While local officials are comfortable leaving police and citizens prey to these animals, they are strident about having police protection for themselves.

            If I were on that force I would stop for a couple donuts and a large coffee when answering a call for help from one of these woke officials. With luck, all I would have to do on arrival is call the coroner. Lucky for them and lucky for me I would never put myself in that position. Why Portland has any police at all is a mystery to me.

          2. All races have their own idiots that are among them it just seems Dim Blue areas always seems to have an excessive amount of fools bring the whole areas down.

            Ck the short video:

            Democrats Who Have Allowed Crime to Flourish in Chicago Outraged About Closure of Walmart Stores (VIDEO)
            by Mike LaChance Apr. 14, 2023 9:10 pm


            1. Chicago politicians to WalMart: “You sold us down the river!”
              WalMart: “Yes, the Crimea River.”

              1. I seen another Meme on twitter of 2 black guys stealing a $4000 big screen tv out the front door of a Wal Mart & one says to the other: I don’t know why Wal Mart is closing? The other guys says: I guess we’ll just have to find somewhere else to steal from.

                Cute meme for a second, but sad because that’s exactly what’s Planned to happen by many of our evil leaders.

                When Biden came in Biden handlers revised an Obama program Trump canceled that basically pays large fed govt bonuses for local govts & developers to build Sec 8 Ghetto housing apartments in low crime suburban areas that people that could have fled to get away from those War Zones of big cities.

                Looks to get wilder in the world & here with all the illegals slamming into those areas where the gen pop is already distressed & other programs.

            2. Same thing, store closures, happening in San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle–racism, sexism, and climate change of course.

              You don’t want to have to live through an episode of Hunger Games just to go shopping for dinner.

              Funny that we have heard arguments that nobody needs a gun because we have police. Then the same people demand that the police be defunded. And then the same folks don’t understand why so many more people are buying guns. Hunger Games.

              I imagine it will get worse when the governments that promised reparations discover they can’t possibly afford what they promised and the eagerly waiting “oppressed” decide to collect it on their own. Some already have done.

              I wonder what an evil genius out to destroy the country would do differently than what is being done now. Nothing I suppose. But I am reluctant to credit genius when imbecility will answer for all of it.

  8. Worse, we are now seeing scientific organizations weighing in on the “culture wars”. For example, the Division of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics pulled its 2018 annual meeting from North Carolina to take a stand on the transgender bathroom issue []. Will these scientific groups continue to be seen as neutral, dispassionate scientists?

    1. Science became politicized long ago.

      Takie the idiocy of CAGW.

      Or ANY malthusian claim allegedly based on science EVER.

    1. That’s one source of revenue that needs to be curtailed by parents.
      We will then see who is the real bosses. The consumer or the talking heads.

      1. Florida’s Walt Disney World theme park entrance fees are outrageously exorbitant. My parents took us there when they first opened their gates in the early 1970s when it was just Main Street. We had a blast as a family, and my father marveled how America offered such inspiration for children. Admission prices in 1971 were $3.50 for adults, $2.50 for juniors under age 18, and one dollar for children under twelve.

        Today’s admission prices:

        1-Day Disney World park ticket prices:

        Magic Kingdom: $124-$189 (plus tax)
        EPCOT: $114-$179 (plus tax)
        Hollywood Studios: $124-$179 (plus tax)
        Animal Kingdom: $109-$159 (plus tax)
        The price for a 1-Day Park Hopper ticket ranges from $194.90 to $268.38 for Adults, depending on when you go.

        These prices reflect Disney’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion recouping their financial losses to their fiasco and PR disaster due to Go Woke, Go Broke.

        It’s a small world after all!

        1. Yeah.
          Took my daughter there when she was young.
          Cost of getting in.
          Then, lunch for 4 people, 3 adults, one child was $60something. And was not even very good.
          The place was very crowded.
          We had a “meh,” time.
          Sea World was better.

  9. Their politicial ambitions are clouding their sense of basic business accounting.

    If for example Disney wanted to make a film about fly fishing, the demographic cohort interested in films about the the topic might be willing to buy say 3 million dollars worth of tickets, but a film about astronomy might produce 6 million. You don’t budget the production cost of the fly fishing film to be equal to the astronomy picture.

    The percentage of the public insisting on watching woke films does not equal that of the public who is not interested or actually dislikes woke films. But here it seems Disney spends the same amount of money for woke and non-woke and as a result the woke pictures lose big money. If a woke movie was not controversial, and if they only spent 5 million and not 105 million on woke films they might earn a good return on their investment. If the woke film netted 8 million it would be a decent return.

    The other problem is woke films piss people off, and that damages Disney’s branded equity in the minds of millions and subsequently costs them viewership of other films. Small demographic films that are otherwise neutral such as the fly fishing or astronomy movies, people either watch them or they do not. There is less lasting fallout if the actuaries at the studio do not anticipate revenue/ expenses accurately than if the studio’s management angers the public and generates bad press.

    1. Darren,
      Well said.
      You clearly have a grasp on how business and economics work.
      Seems some of our leftists friends could learn a thing or 10 from your comment.

  10. Svelaz, books in Florida have been banned in schools in Florida because they show kids giving each other blow jobs while books in California Like To Kill A Mocking Bird are banned in California because they accurately tell the story of racism and include the “N” word which was a commonly used word. My step father was a racist and the reading of To Kill A Mocking Bird when I was fifteen provided an education about racism that was not to be found in my home. I see no such opportunity for education in the depiction of oral sex by children in a school book. Maybe you do??

    1. Keller Independent School District in Texas banned the Holy Bible in 2022 because ….reasons.
      Davis School District in Utah is currently deciding whether to ban the Holy Bible because of …reasons

      Here in Virginia, Loudoun County Public Schools is banning a teacher from using Bible verses in her email signature because of woke is in their bone marrow, but not protecting children from sexual assaults from boys dressed as girls (aka Trans). This is the same Loudoun County Public Schools that ignored a father for bringing to their attention that a boy sexually assaulted his daughter in a girls restroom because the boy claimed to be Trans. A Grand Jury released a blistering report of how they handled 2 separate incidents with the same Trans predator. The Superintendent, Scott Ziegler, a Left wing nut job, was fired and is now facing criminal charges. Look for the White House to hire him as an education consultant because of …reasons.

      Why would the Left ban the Holy Bible and censor Biblical quotes? Likely because their demons would screech, convulse and wail as they fled the White House. Now there is a thought

    2. Your oversimplification of the issues hides the complexity of the problem. They are not showing porn I’m schools, period. Furthermore context is thrown out the window in pursuit of peddling cheap shots because it’s easier.


    Ah, Mr. Market says!

    Now that’s the Constitution, not the wholly unconstitutional EPA regulating something it has absolutely no legal basis to regulate, and and the EPA which has no power enumerated in Article 1, Section 8, to regulate. PERIOD.

    The unconstitutional EPA and the executive branch have no power to regulate the environment, tail-pipe emissions, or the production, marketing or sales of any vehicle, or anything else.

    Congress has NO power to regulate anything but, and ONLY the power to regulate ONLY: The value of money, “Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian Tribes,” and land and naval Forces.

    No other powers to regulate are enumerated to Congress by the Constitution, PERIOD, and any official who makes a claim to the power to regulate is arbitrarily amending the Constitution without authority and engaging in dictatorship, tyranny and oppression.

    Americans are free. PERIOD.

    Article I, Section 8

    The Congress shall have Power To:

    – …regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian Tribes;

    – …regulate the Value (Money) thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

    – …Regulation of the land and naval Forces;…

      1. The Constitution disagrees with the Supreme Court.

        – Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, December 1, 2021

        – Roe v. Wade, October 11, 1972

        – Texas v. White, April 12, 1869

      2. The Supreme Court must, by sworn oath, strictly adhere to and support the literal, clear and evident, meaning and intent of the words of the English language comprising the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

        The Supreme Court has no power to legislate.

        The Supreme Court has no power to amend the Constitution.

        The Supreme Court has no power to amend the Constitution by “interpretation.”

        The Justices of the Supreme Court are subject to impeachment and conviction when they reject and modify the precise “manifest tenor” of the Constitution that all Americans are capable of reading and comprehending.

  12. Competent parents and other guardians don’t willingly expose their wards to grooming, and everyone knows this.

  13. Woke is thoroughly ingrained in their psyche. Gavin Newsom recently gave a speech in which he condemned book banning. It seems that he hasn’t been paying attention to what’s happening in his state. After parent complaints about the use of racist epithets in To Kill a Mockingbird; Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; The Cay; Of Mice and Men; and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, the Burbank (CA) Unified School District superintendent removed these titles from required classroom reading lists.Aug 16, 2022. Just like with Disney people are voting with their money and their feet by leaving the Soviet Socialist state of California and the Disney Land Grooming Motion Picture Company. This is further evidence that they have underestimated popular opinion. At least Budweiser has made a half hearted apology as Disney has doubled down. The casting couch at Disney for young boys is fully operational.

    1. @thinkitthrough: I’m certain that Newsome knows precisely what’s happening in his state. Any constituency stupid enough to give him a vote of confidence on a recall can be sold sand in the Sahara. Not only will he run a ‘special’ on it, but they will start lining up 24 hours in advance to be first.

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