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New ‘Haunted Mansion’ Ranks Among Disney’s Worst Ride-Based Films

Haunted Mansion worst attraction movie

It’s only been a few days since Disney’s newest live-action film, Haunted Mansion, hit theaters, but the film is struggling to find its footing. Disney filled the movie with incredible talent, including Jamie Lee Curtis, Danny DeVito, Owen Wilson, LaKeith Stanfield, Tiffany Haddish, and Rosario Dawson. Unfortunately, that talent is not helping bring people to the theaters. Haunted Mansion’s opening weekend saw the movie compete with Barbie and Oppenheimer, both of which continued to dominate, leaving Haunted Mansion in the dust.

Haunted Mansion Black leading man

Credit: Disney

During its opening weekend, Haunted Mansion only made $24.2 million, which actually puts it behind the 2003 version of the film, which starred Eddie Murphy. Eddie Murphy’s The Haunted Mansion is largely considered one of Disney’s biggest flops, but now this new version is trailing behind it. Haunted Mansion still has a lot of time to surpass its predecessor, but it is still sitting in the category of being one of Disney’s least-successful movies based on a popular theme park attraction.

Haunted Mansion Poster

Credit: Disney

The thing is, Disney knows how to create successful films based on rides. Take a look at the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. The five films combined have made more than $4 billion for Disney. Haunted Mansion cost about $150 million to make, but needs to make approximately $300 million to break even. If things continue the way they are, the movie won’t make anything close to that amount. Haunted Mansion is currently ranked with other failed Disney attraction films Mission to Mars (2000) and Country Bear Jamboree (2002).

Country Bear Jamboree movie

Credit: Disney

Why Is Haunted Mansion Struggling?

Unfortunately for Disney, Haunted Mansion could not have come out at a worse time. On July 14, the more than 160,000 members of the Screen Actors Guild announced they were going on strike. That meant that the stars of Haunted Mansion could no longer promote the film. With just two weeks to go before the premiere, the stop in press promotion could not have been worse. None of the stars attended the movie’s premiere at Disneyland Resort, and Haunted Mansion director Justin Simien was forced to walk the red carpet alone.

Justin Simien Haunted Mansion cast

Credit: Disney

To make things worse, people are not happy with Disney. Disney fans are voicing their disappointment with Disney constantly taking old material and creating new stories. They want something new, and something Disney has not done before. While Haunted Mansion is not one of Disney’s controversial live-action remakes, it is something people have seen before. Disney is constantly hoping that movies based on attractions will be successful, but none of its attempts have met the success hoped for, except for Pirates of the Caribbean. 

Johnny Depp Orlando Bloom Pirates of the Caribbean

Credit: Disney

As if Disney didn’t have enough problems, fans are also becoming more disillusioned with the company because of the current issues facing CEO Bob Iger. When Iger came back to the company in November 2022, fans were thrilled — the dismal Chapek era was behind them. Unfortunately, Iger’s second go as CEO has been anything but smooth. In less than one year, Iger has gone from fan-favorite to having to answer to angry fans.

Disney CEO Bob Iger

Credit: Thomas Hawk, Flickr

Most recently, Iger spoke out on the SAG strike, saying that the union’s demands were not realistic. That didn’t sit right with not only actors, but also thousands of Disney fans. Iger makes approximately $78,000 per day, owns a private yacht, and was at Billionaire’s Summer Camp when he made the comments. This anger was also fueled by the fact that Disney recently laid off more than 4,000 people, while saying they made $22 billion in revenue in its third quarter alone.

Disney Actors residuals stories are horrifying

Credit: Herman de Keyperling, Flickr

With all the anger being directed at Disney and its CEO, one has to wonder if Haunted Mansion was set up for failure. Haunted Mansion is following in the footsteps of several other Disney movies that have not performed at the box office this summer, including the Pixar film Elemental, as well as Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.

Haunted Mansion currently has an 85% audience score, but only a 41% critic’s score on Rotten Tomatoes.

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

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