Disney’s Jungle Cruise grossed $35.4M in Domestic ticket sales last weekend, coming in slightly above expectations for its opening frame. International markets added another $27.6M, boosting the worldwide total to $63M. Considering the fact that Warner Bros. spent $200M to make the film and an additional $100M to promote it, the balance sheet for Jungle Cruise does not look rosy. On the other hand, it was the fifth highest opening weekend gross for all Hollywood titles released since the beginning of the pandemic, following Black Widow ($80.4M), F9: The Fast Saga ($70M), A Quiet Place Part II ($48.1M) and Godzilla Vs. Kong ($48.1M). Disney is also said to have earned $30M from at-home rentals as a Premiere Access title on Disney+.
Measuring the success of a major film release has become complicated, with the box office coming in at a significantly lower level than that generated by comparable films prior to the pandemic, but with new revenues created through streaming. Some argue that day & date releasing is cannibalizing overall revenues that should have come from a bigger initial box office followed by Premium Video on Demand and streaming after the period of theatrical exclusivity. In fact, the National Association of Theatre Owners made exactly that case in a statement which commented on Disney’s July release of Black Widow, premiering in theatres and on Disney+ on the same day.
“Despite assertions that this pandemic-era improvised release strategy was a success for Disney and the simultaneous release model, it demonstrates that an exclusive theatrical release means more revenue for all stakeholders in every cycle of the movie’s life.”