‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny’ Disappoints at Box Office

“Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” had a disappointing opening weekend, making just $60.4 million at the domestic box office over July 4th weekend.

As The Hollywood Reporter points out, “Many films would be pleased with such a sum; one costing a huge $295 million to produce before marketing isn’t one of them.”

Dial of Destiny at the Box Office

In its first five days, “Dial of Destiny” reached $83.7 million, according to Deadline. Its July 4th box office was $11.698 million, just barely beating out “Sound of Freedom.” Though it’s a holiday, July 4th isn’t one that usually calls people to the movies, so this isn’t a bad performance for the date.

Compared to the previous four “Indiana Jones” film, “Dial of Destiny” comes in fourth for the domestic box office opening adjusted for inflation. Only the first Indy film, “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” performed worse — but that was in 1981, and the movie-going experience has changed significantly in the last 42 years.

When compared to the most recent film in the franchise, “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” “Dial of Destiny” is a big disappointment. Though “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” wasn’t received very well by fans and critics, it opened over Memorial Day weekend in 2008 to $152 million domestically. That’s $146.9 million when adjusted slightly for inflation. It was the number two film of the year behind “The Dark Knight.”

“The Temple of Doom,” the second film following “Raiders of the Lost Ark” in 1984 but technically a prequel, made $33.9 million domestically — $106.4 million when adjusted for inflation. “Temple of Doom” had a big impact on the movie theater industry as it, along with “Gremlins,” prompted director Steven Spielberg to suggest the Motion Picture Association create a new rating between PG and R. This led to the creation of PG-13.

In 1989, the third Indy film, “The Last Crusade,” also opened on Memorial Day weekend and made $37 million domestically — $77.5 million when adjusted.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny - MPAA

“Dial of Destiny” trails behind all three films with its meager domestic box office of $60.4 million. Internationally, it only made $70 million.

“Raiders of the Lost Ark” opened in 1,068 theaters in June 1981. It only made $8.3 million — $31.5 million when adjusted — but spent 42 weeks at the top of the box office, making a domestic total of $212 million in its original run ($248.2 million including re-releases) and $354 million worldwide. It was the number one film of 1981.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny poster

“Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on May 18. It opened in theaters on June 30.

The MPAA rates the movie PG-13. According to their classification, the rating is due to “sequences of violence and action, language and smoking.”

“Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” takes place in 1969, amidst the space race. Indiana Jones will encounter his old enemy, the Nazis, again. The antagonist, Voller, is a villain inspired by Wernher von Braun — a real Nazi who became a NASA engineer.

The teaser trailer and artwork for the film debuted in December. A second teaser for “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” premiered during Super Bowl LVII. Before the film’s full title was announced, Empire shared behind-the-scenes photos and interviews with the cast last November.

“It’s full of adventure, full of laughs, full of real emotion. And it’s complex and it’s sneaky,” Harrison Ford said at the time. “The shooting of it was tough and long and arduous. But I’m very happy with the film that we have.” Ford, now 80 years old, stated this will be the last “Indiana Jones” movie.

Read our review of “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.”

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