This was the last time Harrison Ford played boulder-dodging, whip-wielding, Nazi-slamming Indiana Jones.

“Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Dial of Fate” hits theaters on Friday, marking the fifth and possibly final chapter in the Lucasfilm franchise.

disney No expense was spared to bring the movie to the big screen, with a production budget of nearly $300 million. Given the marketing costs (often equivalent to half of the production budget), and the lavish premieres and after-parties at Cannes, The Dial of Fate has a big hole to dig.

Box office analysts predict the film will take in $60 million to $65 million in its first three days and about $90 million over the five-day holiday weekend. It will be the latest premiere of the summer blockbuster season, following underwhelming performances earlier this month of “The Flash,” “Element” and “Transformers: Rise of the Beast.”

It’s also far less than “Raiders of the Lost Ark: Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” which grossed $100 million in its first three days in 2008. The previous “Raiders of the Lost Ark” films, released in the 1980s, opened with a sharp decline at the box office because of tickets. Movies were much cheaper back then, and movies were showing in fewer theaters.

For example, “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” opened in more than 4,200 theaters, while 1989’s “The Last Crusade” opened in 2,300 theaters, according to Comscore. By 2023, blockbusters typically hit 4,200 locations, with some films, like Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” set to hit as many as 4,450 locations.

The Dial of Fate also marks the first time Steven Spielberg hasn’t directed an Indy film, though the score was written by series stalwart John Williams. James Mangold, who previously directed “Logan” and “Ford vs. Ferrari,” directs the new installment.

The sequel comes 15 years after Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which earned a 77% “Fresh” score on Rotten Tomatoes, but was widely panned by audiences. Despite a solid debut, the fourth Indiana Jones film only grossed $317 million domestically. Its global revenue did hit $786 million, according to Comscore.

The lackluster response from audiences led to a pause in filming of future films, including a spinoff starring Shia LaBeouf as Indiana Jones’ son Mutt Williams. In 2012, Disney bought Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion, ultimately wresting the rights to the franchise from its previous studio partner, Paramount Pictures. Disney has been keeping the character on ice while working on new Star Wars and Willow content (two other Lucasfilm franchises from Lucasfilm).

Now, in 2023, the fifth installment of the swashbuckling archaeologist adventure film had a “freshness” score of 67% as of Friday morning, with critics saying “The Dial of Fate” didn’t quite capture the early adventure. thrills. Still, according to the critical consensus, Ford donned his signature hat and whip combo, and the film gave viewers a nostalgic rush.

However, it’s unclear if this will lead to significant ticket sales.

“The target audience is men over the age of 35 who have grown up on the series and need to be there with their families and maybe introduce their kids to this iconic character who didn’t even take part in the last show. movies,” said Shawn Robbins, principal analyst at “The franchise has overcome stagnation in pop culture relevance before, but this time it must face the added challenge of winning back audiences who weren’t as enthusiastic about Crystal Skull as the original films.”

Hollywood nostalgia has had mixed success in recent years. While “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Avatar: Way of Water” and “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” posted healthy box office results, other films have struggled on the big screen. “Blade Runner 2049,” “Independence Day: Revenge” and “Terminator: Genesis” all underperformed in North America with established fans and new audiences alike.

The Dial of Fate could benefit from audiences keen to see Ford, who turns 81 next month, hang up his fedora, and possibly even pass the torch to a new generation of viewers.

Robbins noted that critics and audiences didn’t always agree, despite tepid reviews when it opened Friday.

“Raiders of the Lost Ark has traditionally been a less foregrounded franchise than the comic book blockbusters we’re used to, which also means that a significant portion of viewers may choose to watch the film after the initial fan drive. . preview and opening day,” he said.

Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBCUniversal owns Rotten Tomatoes.


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