It came as no surprise that Jungle Cruise won the weekend. With $34M, the 3-day total easily out-distanced the second place finisher The Green Knight with $6.7M. In fact, it was somewhat of a surprise that the Disney release did not do better. A decently-reviewed, well-liked, heart of the summer, family-oriented action picture with star power had the potential to do even better. Even when taking into account the effect of the Delta variant and competition from streaming release on Disney+, Jungle Cruise had a perfect formula to deliver large audiences to theatres. The original Pirates of the Caribbean grossed $70M in its first 5 days when it opened on Wednesday 7/9/2003, the equivalent of more than $100M in 2021 dollars.
A positive note was struck by A-24’s The Green Knight. Riding very favorable reviews – 89% Rotten Tomatoes – the $6.7M opening weekend gross was well above the $2M – $4M that most had predicted. Following in 3rd to 5th place, we have any one of Stillwater, Old, and Snake Eyes, with the actual order being too close to call. Next week will feature The Suicide Squad (2021), which appears to be on a higher trajectory than this week’s Jungle Cruise. Given that the original Suicide Squad (2016) opened to $133M on the same weekend five years ago, the industry would be thrilled if this year’s release did a mere half of that amount in its opening weekend.