One of the biggest things this iteration of “Haunted Mansion” had going for it was a stacked ensemble cast. We had recent Oscar-winner Jamie Lee Curtis, Rosario Dawson who currently plays Ahsoka Tano in “Star Wars,” internet favorite Danny DeVito, and the never-not-great LaKeith Stanfield, among others, sharing the screen. Yet, because studios like Disney have refused to come to the negotiating table to try and reach a fair compensation deal with actors and writers, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) is on strike, meaning that none of these big stars were able to promote the film. That absolutely hurt the bottom line, as people who don’t live their lives online rely on the press cycle to become aware of a movie like this.
Am I saying that a robust press tour would have turned the tide enough to actually make this a success? No, I am not. But it sure as heck would have made a difference. Pay your actors, Hollywood. This is just the first big movie coming out that is going to have to contend with a lack of press cycle and the longer this drags out, the more the bottom line will suffer. It’s a shame it’s happening this way, but this is a true demonstration of the value stars bring to a movie like this even outside of their actual acting on-screen.