Harrison Ford's new movie 'Call of the Wild' set to lose £38m

Ben Arnold
·3-min read
Harrison Ford and Buck in Call of the Wild (Credit: Fox)
Harrison Ford and Buck in Call of the Wild (Credit: Fox)

He might be Hollywood royalty, but Harrison Ford's new movie, The Call Of The Wild, is being avoided in droves.

After two weeks on release, it's made $79 million (£61.3 million) worldwide, but with a production budget of between $125 million and $150 million - thanks to its CGI dog, Buck - it's looking set to cost Disney a lot of money. Hollywood trade paper Variety estimates it could lose Disney’s Twentieth Century Studios up to $50 million - £38 million.

The movie is an adaptation of Jack London's famous novel, set in 1890s, gold rush era America, with Ford as John Thornton, an outdoorsman who becomes friends with a stolen sled dog in the arduous terrain of the Yukon.

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PETA has been among those praising the movie for using all CGI animals, rather than trained animals.

However, such animation is notoriously expensive, and according to Variety, the movie will need to make between $250 million and $275 million just to break even, once marketing costs have been taken care of.

Reviews have been a mixed bag too, with many rounding on the shortcomings of the movie's 'uncanny' main character, but praising Ford's performance.

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It's the latest in a series of flops for the former 20th Century Fox studio, which will be of some considerable concern to Disney, which bought up the studio last year.

While Disney had a record box office year in 2019, making a staggering $13 billion, the most ever by a single studio, Fox has had a raft of failures.

Dark Phoenix (Credit: Fox)
Dark Phoenix (Credit: Fox)

These include the X-Men movie Dark Phoenix, which lost somewhere around $110 million, Kristen Stewart thriller Underwater, which also lost tens of millions of dollars, and Brad Pitt's Ad Astra, which is thought to have lost $30 million.

Fox also had a hand in distributing Terminator: Dark Fate internationally, which lost a staggering $130 million.

“The Fox studio performance was well below where it had been and well below where we’d hoped it would be when we made the acquisition,” Disney’s current CEO Bob Iger told investors in August 2019.

“It will probably take a solid year or two years before we can have an impact — obviously it takes longer on the development side — but an impact on the films that are actually in production,” Iger said. “We’re all confident that we’re going to be able to turn around the fortunes of Fox live action and you’re going to see those results in a couple years.”