Disney, along with many other studios is frequently taking on production after production which at first glance, and last, appear to be terrible decisions. Most movie-goers hear about Disney making "Tomorrowland" and can find it extremely difficult to conceive a way for the film to be good. It's a film based on a region of Disneyland. Sure, there are, or is a successful franchise out based on a Disneyland ride, "Pirates of the Caribbean". That just might be the one exception to the rule.
We've seen Disney pumping out terrible film after terrible film, but the entertainment giant can afford to throw money in the trash just to have majority share of films being released. "Haunted Mansion" was one flop Disney produced, and before "Pirates of the Caribbean" came out with Johnny Depp, the crowds at Disneyland would've likely been torn on deciding their favorite ride.
What makes a movie interesting enough and have been based on a ride or region of a theme park? Well, not a whole lot. Think about how many pirate movies you can name, well chances are you're not getting very far, so "Pirates of the Caribbean" fit a void in Hollywood in its genre. How about movies with haunted houses? Too many to name, and the fact that the film wasn't taken serious, or as serious as the lovers of the ride, it was bound to bomb.
Sure there are interesting ideas in various regions and rides of various parks, but it does seem as though Disney is forcing Disney-related content down our throats.
"Tomorrowland" had a budget of $190 million and has so far grossed less than half of that. Tallying up all the costs involved with the film, including a bill of over $150 million for marketing, could end up losing over $140 million by the end of the film's theatrical lifespan.
Disney has tried to kick down doors for other projects like "Jupiter Ascending" and "Seventh Son", but have also experienced severe flopping. There isn't a clear-cut inherent way to determine how a film will be done well and received well by massive audiences. Mass marketing has proven to both fail, and assist in great success. Popular actors have proven to both fail, and assist in great success. Notable directors have proven to both fail, and assist in great success. Hard to find a perfect recipe, but if I were going to risk my neck, I'll risk it with a writer and director who have a track record of quality work who've succeeded in producing the vision they had before beginning their project.
George Clooney has made at least as many bad performances as he's made good ones, but whose fault is that? If an actor doesn't get a project well written or well directed, it can become just a paycheck. Clooney is very far from being the one actor who follows this trend.
My hope in this massive, expected loss for Disney is that they would start using a much finer strainer to filter out good ideas from bad ideas. I can also see why Disney purchased Marvel and Star Wars after trying to kick off their own failed franchises. Marvel and Star Wars are sure successes, at least financially, no matter who is behind the project, but if done well, they'll grow substantially, as will their audiences.