Disney’s Jungle Cruise made a terribly poor debut in China this weekend, only netting over 3 million dollars. It may end up grossing only 5-9 million in that country, ever-so slightly moving the needle on its worldwide box office performance. No Time to Die had a better performance on the weekend, and has grossed nearly 60 million in China.
The adventure tale based of the Disney theme park ride has lost tremendous steam since its simultaneous release in theaters and on Disney+ back in July. It grossed 35 million in its opening weekend in theaters while 30 million came from Disney+ Premier sales. It didn’t leg out spectacularly though, as it stands at a little over 210 million worldwide. That release is not enough to combat a near 360 million dollars in negative cost, marketing and distribution purposes. Thus, the film had to gross 500 million dollars to break even.
Unless Disney keeps begging us to look the other way due to its success with the subscriber account of Disney+, Jungle Cruise failed miserably this year. It’s not considered a bomb, but instead, a disappointment. Sure, we can continue to blame COVID-19 all we want as it still remains primarily responsible for other films not making a strong net profit during the first half of 2021.
But as explained earlier this year, Hollywood’s attempts to note success are becoming extremely confounding as of late. If the average person can purchase a streaming service and then share a new film with friends and family at a household, that’s already a loss of money. Mixed-to-poor reception does not also entice many to show up at the theater (unless they adore the product). And simultaneous releases of a newly-released film can become a swing or a miss. The Suicide Squad was a miss, while Clifford the Big Red Dog made a good debut this past weekend.
Dwayne Johnson has been successful with this feature and Red Notice heading to streaming services, but not when on the theatrical release playground this year. Black Widow, Eternals, Free Guy, and others snatched his glory. Emily Blunt is a star but not quite the caliber of Johnson’s yet, as her main success of 2021 came from the perfectly released, well-received A Quiet Place Part II.
Jungle Cruise 2 may show larger numbers, but Jungle Cruise did not drift down the river congruously.