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Sunken ‘Jungle Cruise’ Sales Reflect Hollywood’s Delta Variant Troubles

Sunken ‘Jungle Cruise’ Sales Reflect Hollywood’s Delta Variant Troubles
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Sunken ‘Jungle Cruise’ Sales Reflect Hollywood’s Delta Variant Troubles

Sunken ‘Jungle Cruise’ Sales Reflect Hollywood’s Delta Variant Troubles

LOS ANGELES – As Disney’s ‘Jungle Cruise’ over the weekend demonstrated, cinema remains disrupted, with the Delta variant, immediate streaming availability and squishy reviews combining to depress sales of tickets.

Any other takeout would be de-Nile.

“Jungle Cruise,” a period comedy adventure that cost at least $ 200 million to make and an additional $ 100 million to market, has raised about $ 34 million at 4,310 theaters in the United States and Canada, including Thursday night previews, according to Comscore, which compiles box office data. The PG-13 “Jungle Cruise”, starring Emily Blunt as the UK version of Indiana Jones and Dwayne Johnson as riverboat skipper, grossed an additional $ 28 million.

“The market is vulnerable right now,” David A. Gross, who heads Franchise Entertainment Research, said in an email. “There’s Covid, there’s simultaneous streaming, there’s piracy, there’s the nature of the movies themselves – different factors for each movie. Simultaneous streaming appears to reduce a movie’s revenue in total across all windows.

Over the weekend, “Jungle Cruise” also arrived on the Disney + streaming service, where subscribers (over 100 million worldwide) could watch the movie (and have permanent access to it) for an additional $ 10. $ 30. Disney said that “Jungle Cruise” generated approximately $ 30 million in global Disney + Premium Access sales. For comparison, “Black Widow,” Marvel’s recent show, raised around $ 60 million in its first three days of availability on Disney + Premium Access.

Scarlett Johansson, who played superassassin Black Widow in eight films, sued Disney on Thursday, claiming that making “Black Widow” on Disney + at the same time it opened in theaters “drastically” reduced box office revenue, which cost him tens of millions of dollars in compensation. His lawsuit drew a meteoric “without merit” response from Disney.

“Jungle Cruise” had all the makings of a box office smash. Mr Johnson is perhaps the world’s most profitable movie star, someone who can fill seats just by being on a theater marquee. Ms. Blunt is no slouch in this department either; his most recent film, “A Quiet Place Part II” (Paramount), was a big hit in May, raising around $ 48 million in its first three days in North American theaters and ultimately around $ 300 million. dollars in the world.

Additionally, “Jungle Cruise” was based on a classic Disney theme park ride, which gave it a built-in public awareness, and Disney’s unparalleled marketing machine sprang up around it. Disney justified spending a king’s ransom on the film in the hope that it could become the next “Pirates of the Caribbean,” a five-movie franchise (also based on a Disneyland ride) that collected 4, $ 5 billion at the box office and created a merchandising bonanza.

As the summer began, Hollywood, citing the rollout of vaccines and pent-up demand, had high hopes for a box office increase. Instead, a few films have been successful – notably those like “A Quiet Place Part II” and “F9” which arrived in June and exclusively in theaters – and a parade of others have disappointed, including “Snake Eyes: GI. Joe Origins ”,“ In the Heights ”,“ Old ”and“ Black Widow ”.

In particular, Mr. Gross blamed the concept of “Jungle Cruise”. Action adventures as a genre have struggled over the past decade, he noted, although the “Jumanji” (Sony) and “Jurassic World” (Universal) series have been exceptions. Overall, “Jungle Cruise” received mixed reviews, with some critics finding the film’s computer-generated effects cartoonish and not believable.

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Audiences appeared to disagree, giving “Jungle Cruise” and an A-minus rating in CinemaScore’s exit polls.

In a statement released on Sunday, Disney said, “We remain focused on providing consumers with choice in these unprecedented times, and it’s clear that fans and families appreciate the ability to make decisions about how they want to go. prefer to enjoy the best Disney storytelling. “

Due to the continuing threat of coronaviruses around the world, Disney noted, “the markets are open to varying degrees and not all exhibitors are currently open. Capacity restrictions are also in place in most markets. About 85 percent of theaters in North America are open, according to Comscore.

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