Jungle Cruise first entered development at Disney in 2004, and there was even a time when Toy Story duo Tom Hanks and Tim Allen were set to star in the film adaptation of the popular Disney Parks attraction. Ultimately Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt filled those slots instead, and following various delays, Jungle Cruise is now playing in both theaters and on Disney+’s Premier Access tier. So how did the movie perform on the big screen on its opening night?
Jungle Cruise’s Thursday night tally came to $2.7 million, according to Deadline. For comparison, fellow Disney movie Cruella scored $1.4 million on its opening night in late May. Like Jungle Cruise, Cruella was a day-and-date House of Mouse release, and it’s important to remember that there’s a narrow gap of time where these movies were only available to see in theaters before finally premiering on Disney+ for an extra $29.99. Jungle Cruise also outperformed the opening nights of Dwayne Johnson’s 2018 movies Skyscraper and Rampage, which collected $1.95 million and $2.4 million, respectively.
So it sounds like Jungle Cruise is off to a decent start, especially considering that the theatrical business is still contending with the pandemic, and we’re a long ways off from returning to how things were running in the Before Times. Granted, its availability on Disney+ Premier Access means that box office haul will be eaten into, but projections for the days ahead indicate that Jungle Cruise will do alright for itself all things considered. As of Wednesday, it was predicted to make $25 million domestically on opening weekend, and when tallied with the estimated $40 million from various international territories, that adds up to $65 million across the globe. Disney will also reportedly release Jungle Cruise’s PVOD numbers for its first weekend by Sunday morning.
As far as Jungle Cruise’s opening weekend competition goes, A24’s The Green Knight, starring Dev Patel as Sir Gawain, came in second place with $750,000 across 2,790 domestic theaters. The Matt Damon-starring Stillwater came in third place with $280,000 across 1,970 domestic theaters. Critically speaking though, these two movies are on higher ground than Jungle Cruise, which has a 63% Rotten Tomatoes score among critics, while The Green Knight ranks at 89% and Stillwater ranks at 71%.
Set in 1917 as World War I still rages, Jungle Cruise follows Dwayne Johnson’s Captain Frank Wolff taking Emily Blunt’s Dr. Lily Houghton and her brother, Jack Whitehall’s MacGregor, on a jungle expedition to find the Tree of Life, which is set to contain healing powers. Along with running into dangerous animals and a threatening environment along the way, they’ll also have to contend with a competition German expedition, which is being led by Jesse Plemons’ Prince Joachim and guided by Edgar Ramirez’ Aguirre. The cast also includes Paul Giamatti, Veronica Falcón, Dani Rovira, Quim Gutiérrez and Andy Nyman. Jaume Collet-Serra, who has recently been working with Johnson on Black Adam, directed the feature, and Michael Green, Glenn Ficarra and John Requa wrote the script.
Whether you’ve already seen Jungle Cruise or won’t be able to check it out until sometime this weekend, be sure to read CinemaBlend’s review of the movie. Those of you looking further ahead to the future would be wise to browse through our 2021 release schedule and 2022 release schedule to mark your cinematic calendars accordingly.