Disney Learns the Hard Way: Shaming Customers is Not a Viable Business Strategy

Now is the time when we juxtapose, Small Dead Animals-style:

A $190 million summer blockbuster starring George Clooney based on an area in a Disney theme park hits theaters, presumably hoping to rake in at least that much at the box office. Its narrative goal, however: to get you to stop caring so much about the vapid capitalistic things that are ruining us all and instead maybe do something to make the world a better place.


“George Clooney’s Global Warming Shaming: George Clooney’s new summer blockbuster shames us for our roles in global warming and a potpourri of other earthly calamities,” the Daily Beast, May 24th.

Mission accomplished, fellas! “Disney Could Lose $140 Million on ‘Tomorrowland’ Flop,” says the Hollywood Reporter today.

Obviously, audiences took Disney’s advice and stopped “caring so much about the vapid capitalistic things that are ruining us all,” including their movie, so it’s all good for Disney, right?

No? Then, perhaps the filmmakers should have heeded the advice of one of Uncle Walt’s chief competitors. As MGM’s Sam Goldwyn famously said, “Pictures are entertainment, messages should be delivered by Western Union.” It’s a lot cheaper and more reliable than shaming your customers.


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