Tim Burton's Dumbo scored the director's biggest opening weekend since Alice in Wonderland back in 2010. Coincidentally, it was Burton's Alice that kickstarted Disney's ongoing trend of remaking their animated classics as live-action films. By and large, this exercise has proven to be quite successful, with re-imaginings of Beauty and the Beast and The Jungle Book (among others) becoming sizable box office his. Unsurprisingly, the Mouse House is continuing this initiative in 2019 with a trio of new movies. First out of the gate is Dumbo.
Going into the weekend, Dumbo had generated lukewarm word-of-mouth, with most painting it as an enjoyable, if empty, remake from Burton. As a result, it was never expected to break the bank like several of the other recent Disney live-action reinterpretations, but there was still hope it could do fairly well commercially since there wasn't much competition for its target audience. Like the film itself, Dumbo's opening weekend is very much a mixed bag.
According to Box Office Mojo, Dumbo grossed $45 million domestically in its first three days. That marks something of a bounce-back for Burton, as it's his largest debut since Alice in Wonderland's $116.1 million. None of Burton's works in between these Disney projects managed to top $30 million in its first weekend.
Still, this isn't a development to write home about. Dumbo sports a pricey production budget of $170 million, meaning it needs to make approximately $340 million worldwide just to break even. Currently, it's at $116 million globally, so it still has a ways to go before it reaches that mark. And unfortunately for Burton, this coming week sees the premiere of DC's Shazam, which is already Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and being praised as a fun and entertaining superhero film. Though Shazam is projected to have the lowest opening weekend in the DC Extended Universe, it's all but assured to take the top spot at the box office during its first weekend, as Dumbo begins to fade from the charts.
Overall, Dumbo's shaky performance shouldn't have too much of a negative impact on Disney's future plans for more live-action remakes. As indicated above, these movies have predominantly been hits, and it's expected the likes of Aladdin and The Lion King follow suit when they come out later this year (particularly in the case of the latter). They may have to be more selective about which animated properties they bring back, but one movie's weak opening doesn't indicate the masses have lost interest in seeing these stories revived for a new generation just yet.
Source: Box Office Mojo