The Creator is headed to Disney+ and Disney+ Hotstar on Wednesday, December 20. Gareth Edwards’ latest sci-fi affair set amidst a futuristic war between humans and AI, will arrive 82 days after its theatrical release on September 29, during which it collected $104 million (about Rs. 866 crore) at the global box office. That’s just short of the 90-day window Disney allows for its standard releases, which gradually grows in time based on how they perform in cinemas. The longer it generated money in theatres, the longer it took for the film to come to streaming. Avatar: The Way of Water was a critical example of that, coming to Disney+ after a whopping 173-day period, during which it shattered several box office records.
Disney continues its trend of providing poor localisation for movies that aren’t from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, by only presenting The Creator in the original English language. There is no mention of dubs anywhere across the press release or the announcements on Hotstar’s social channels. While the film managed to break the $100-million mark, as predicted by analysts, it still underperformed in Disney’s eyes, with the studio forking over $80 million (about Rs. 666 crore) in production budget. A disappointing $40.8 million (about Rs. 340 crore) was made within the US and Canada, with signs of a further failure of reach in international markets, which contributed another $63.2 million (about Rs. 526 crore). The PG-13 rating didn’t help its cause much, and it seems like any new IP — like The Creator — is failing to succeed with Disney.
Director Edwards’ previous film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, helped Disney dominate the box office by crossing the $1 billion mark — thanks to an established universe and a passionate fan base. Even the recent live-action remakes of classic Disney animated movies, such as The Little Mermaid, have performed incredibly well, generating around half a billion across a 90-day theatrical run. The Creator’s failure raises the question of whether the company will continue to experiment with and establish new franchises, instead of milking sequels and remakes.
Set in the year 2070, The Creator follows a grieving ex-special forces agent Joshua (John David Washington), who is tasked with hunting down the elusive architect of an AI that holds the power to end the raging war and mankind itself. The film also touches upon religious elements, while crafting a story about survival and parenthood, all the while Joshua ponders on the mysterious disappearance of his wife (Gemma Chan).