Weekend Box Office

Weekend Box Office Results: Jungle Cruise Sails Past Expectations With $34.2 Million Debut

Dwayne Johnson cooks up another number 1 weekend, but there may be rapids ahead. Plus, The Green Knight is new head of the class for indie darling A24 on the weekend of July 30-August 1.

by | August 1, 2021 | Comments

Jungle Cruise

(Photo by courtesy of Disney. © 2021 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

Another week, another opportunity to examine the effect of Premier Access on a same-day streaming-and-theatrical release. Standards have been set this summer by Disney, Universal, and Paramount while Warner Brothers has given the term “front-loaded” further meaning showing the effects of those that choose a trip to their couches for HBO Max over a trip to theaters. Disney’s flirtation with their home accessibility for an additional price on their streaming service Disney+ continued this weekend. We don’t know the full extent of their couch success aside from a couple of lofty debuts, so what can we glean from their box office numbers this weekend?


King of the Crop: Smooth Waters for Jungle Cruise, But Can It Keep Chugging Along?

Disney certainly got one headline they were hoping for this weekend. Jungle Cruise’s no. 1 opening was not a shocker, but getting to $34.2 million put it ahead of Space Jam: A New Legacy’s start of $31 million. That number is also good enough for the fourth-best opening of the pandemic, better than even Godzilla vs. Kong’s $31.6 million first weekend (and that film had a two-day head start as well that helped its long-term prospects of eventually reaching $100 million). Jungle Cruise faces an uphill river going forward just based on the two biggest obstacles impeding nine-digit totals – family-oriented titles struggle to get there right now and day-and-date streaming options.

Last week, Space Jam: A New Legacy, streaming for those with an HBO Max subscription, fell 69.1% in its second weekend and looks to still top out around $70 million total. The week before, Disney’s Black Widow, available for $29.99 via Premier Access on Disney+, fell 67.8%. As the front-loaded grosses go up, the subsequent drops go higher as well. Second viewings in theaters are likely way down in this atmosphere and any good word-of-mouth may bring people more to the couch than the lounge seat in the theater. Disney may choose to point to Cruella (also a Premier Access title) having the best multiple (3.94) for a film opening to over $20 million, but it is certainly an outlier. Only A Quiet Place Part II and Godzilla vs. Kong have made more than three times their opening weekend in that group of movies to open with more than $20 million. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is the only other title to get over 2.5x its start.

Then again, it’s debatable if Jungle Cruise getting to $100 million without some serious international and streaming numbers is a victory for a film budgeted at $200 million. F9 is the only film right now that has made enough theatrical revenue to cover that price tag, grossing over $641 million worldwide. No other film has crossed half-a-billion since 2019. Jungle Cruise reportedly grossed another $27.6 million internationally and “over $30 million” from its Premier Access – or half of what Black Widow made in its debut. At present, Disney is not going to be releasing Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings to Premier Access on September 3 – it will be available exclusively in theaters.


Fresh Surprise: A24 Scores Some Big Personal Bests With The Green Knight

A24 had a momentous weekend. For just the fifth time in its eight-year history, the indie darling opened a film in over 2,000 theaters. And it made some headlines. David Lowery’s The Green Knight – one of the best-reviewed wide releases of the year, Certified Fresh at 90% on the Tomatometer – opened to $6.7 million. While that may not seem like a big chunk of change, let’s look a little closer. That is higher than both Midsommar and It Comes At Night, making it the third-highest opening in A24’s history. This is also the first time a film of theirs ranked as high as second place on the weekend box office chart. Even if the estimates fall and Old barely bests it, A24 has never had a third place finish either; both The Witch and Hereditary opened in fourth in their respective weekends in 2016 and 2018. Surely the film was helped by a lackluster marketplace and big drops from last week’s films. Who knows how those grosses would have been altered (or boosted overall at home) with a streaming option, but the studio which has practically become its own brand at this point got a win this weekend by betting on cinephiles’ desire to see a touted masterpiece and its scope on a big screen.


Rotten Returns: A Mixed Story for Focus Features’ Matt Damon Thriller Stillwater

Stillwater

(Photo by Jessica Forde / Focus Features)

The numbers for director Tom McCarthy and Matt Damon’s American-abroad thriller Stillwater are not great. That said, they look good for Focus Features given their output since theaters began opening up. Instead of instituting a move to increase volume on their titles with instant streaming access, the studio has taken a full-steam-ahead theatrical approach to their releases going back to last September. The result has been a top opening weekend for Let Him Go ($4 million), a top final gross by Come Play ($10.4 million) – both from 2020 – and of their seven releases in 2021 so far, not one of them have matched either of those 2020 markers.

Their eighth release of the year, Stillwater, did manage to break their opening ceiling with $5.1 million, giving it the likely odds to outgross Come Play as well. It has already bested Focus’s top release of 2021 in Boogie ($4.17 million). Note, however, that Stillwater‘s per-theater-average of $2,000 is less than that for the opening weekend of their Anthony Bourdain documentary, Roadrunner ($2,145), and that is just their fourth film since the pandemic to have a PTA over $1,000.

What kind of revenue are they missing out on by not offering these films at home for a $20 price tag? When you consider the films actually making theatrical revenue during the 2021 period of the pandemic, the only titles geared towards adults that are not a sequel, a prequel, or a reboot and which have grossed over $20 million are Old, In the Heights, Wrath of Man, and Nobody. And only Old is cracking $30 million. Pre-Stillwater’s opening, Focus’s seven films this year have grossed a total of less than $10 million. Stillwater will finally get them over $20 million for the year.


The Top 10 And Beyond: Old Marks Biggest Second-Weekend Drop for M. Night Shyamalan Since The Happening

Old

(Photo by Phobymo /© Universal Pictures )

Last week’s no. 1 film, Old, fell back to third place this weekend with just $6.7 million. The 60.3% fall is the worst drop for M. Night Shyamalan since The Happening fell 65.7% after a $30.5 million opening in 2008. When looking at the drops of 15 historical July openers that began between $15.5 million and $17.7 million, there are two standouts: Old now joins the ranks of Catwoman (-61.5%) and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (-62.6%) in their second weekends. Those films finished with $40.2 million and $41.1 million, respectively, and it appears Old is headed into the same territory. If so, it could finish with less than Shyamalan’s Lady in the Water’s $42.2 million in 2006.

Marvel’s Black Widow, meanwhile, is now the subject of a potential precedent-setting lawsuit by star Scarlett Johansson over diminished profits stemming from its hybrid release in theaters and on Disney+ Premier Access. While we have not heard anything about the streaming numbers beyond its $60 million debut on the service, its theatrical total rose to over $167 million this weekend. That puts it at around the totals of Men In Black II and Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs after 24 days, though it made around $1.5 million-to-$2 million less than both of those films on its fourth weekend. The best hope for Black Widow is that the film can stretch to get into the $190 million range, which is where both those films ended up, but it is still likely headed to between $180 million-$190 million as suggested last week. Still, unless James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad can break the HBO Max ceiling, Black Widow should end up being the domestic victor of the summer.

Andrew Koji plays Tommy in Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins

(Photo by Ed Araquel/Paramount Pictures)

Elsewhere, Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins fell 70% from last week to just $4 million. That’s the worst drop for a film exclusively in theaters this year and now ranks amongst the 10 worst drops for a film opening between $10 million and $15 million. We’re talking out of over 700 films, too: Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience (-77.40%), The Photograph (-77.10%), The Bye Bye Man (-74.60%), Land of the Dead (-73.40%), Endless Love (2014) (-70.20%), Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins (70.0%), Skyline (-69.50%), The Grudge (2020) (-69.20%), Elektra (-69.00%), Child’s Play (2019) (-68.60%).

Though the studio behind Snake Eyes is citing concerns over the Delta variant spreading among the unvaccinated for its recent decision to pull Clifford the Big Red Dog from its September 17 release, could it be the action flick’s underperformance – as well as the general underperformance of family titles – that spooked them? The film is still scheduled to premiere at next month’s Toronto Film Festival and Paramount’s Paw Patrol is still on the schedule for August 20. Could Paramount+ or a move to Amazon be on the table next for either of them?

Finally, Sony Classics’ Nine Days had one of the best limited launches of the year earning $18,455 in just four theaters for a $4,614 per-screen-average. The only limited releases to start better were the Vietnamese film, Bo Gia, which made $350,000 in 20 theaters ($17,500 PTA) and Neon’s Ailey making $15,091 in two theaters ($7,546 PTA).


On The Vine: Acclaimed The Suicide Squad Puts Theatrical/HBO Max Release Strategy to the Test 

One of the last attempts for a potential blockbuster of the summer arrives with James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad. If Warner Brothers is feeling confident, they have reason: Early reviews have the movie already Certified Fresh at 96% on the Tomatometer (which is a big jump from the Rotten 26% Tomatometer score for the original). But can it overcome people’s desire to stay at home and watch it on HBO Max? We will find out next weekend…


Full List of Box Office Results: July 30-August 1


  • $34.2 million ($34.2 million total)

  • $6.78 million ($6.78 million total)

  • $6.7 million ($30 million total)

  • $6.4 million ($167.1 million total)

  • $5.1 million ($5.1 million total)

  • $4.3 million ($60.7 million total)

  • $4 million ($22.3 million total)

  • $2.6 million ($168.5 million total)

  • $2 million ($20.4 million total)

  • $1.3 ($53.4 million total)


Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on WGN Radio with Nick Digilio as well as on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.

[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]


On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.

Tag Cloud

superman WGN SundanceTV San Diego Comic-Con technology robots Film Festival Crunchyroll strong female leads Infographic spider-man 2017 king kong Starz king arthur Musical Black History Month historical drama Comic-Con@Home 2021 travel slashers The Walt Disney Company cults 2020 marvel cinematic universe zombies christmas movies Sundance NYCC LGBT VH1 90s Cannes international political drama A24 olympics parents Elton John Amazon Studios cancelled TV series Lionsgate BBC One TCA Winter 2020 Tumblr Christmas Pacific Islander razzies Paramount Plus PlayStation 2019 GoT superhero emmy awards YouTube Premium ABC Signature Shudder rotten Hallmark TruTV Food Network child's play comics AMC NBA Crackle rt labs critics edition Disney+ Disney Plus Awards Spike Wes Anderson concert BET versus dramedy what to watch Lifetime Christmas movies Esquire Heroines CW Seed Mary Poppins Returns Schedule biography Discovery Channel E! Legendary Avengers TV movies Shondaland YouTube stoner hispanic heritage month critics stop motion USA Network Captain marvel twilight Universal Podcast prank Holiday Mystery TV festivals cancelled Interview crime thriller lord of the rings Nominations adventure Hear Us Out Disney streaming service 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards kids Fall TV mcc Lucasfilm Polls and Games USA crime cancelled television legend The Walking Dead crossover serial killer Amazon revenge Winter TV Trivia Comedy Martial Arts Video Games tv talk Trailer Calendar indiana jones MCU archives FX on Hulu VICE PBS talk show 007 Hallmark Christmas movies fresh ABC Family worst rt archives Teen Turner TCA Ghostbusters quibi stand-up comedy Epix Apple PaleyFest TIFF Brie Larson cats Adult Swim sitcom Election slasher Warner Bros. films Marvel Studios doctor who binge Masterpiece Pixar Paramount mockumentary Western Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Superheroes Box Office RT History Star Trek franchise venice dogs First Look target psychological thriller documentary harry potter MTV Rocketman werewolf news japan Drama aapi TV Land Women's History Month Thanksgiving Netflix Christmas movies boxing Ellie Kemper TV One canceled Comic Book Red Carpet SDCC suspense streaming movies Freeform high school classics breaking bad National Geographic wonder woman WarnerMedia halloween Extras spy thriller thriller History DC streaming service italian worst movies Logo Hulu new york nature green book nbcuniversal Rocky Superheroe Showtime GLAAD CMT 2016 Sci-Fi Stephen King basketball heist movie OWN A&E Tokyo Olympics satire Disney Plus Fantasy Animation toy story Britbox obituary ghosts docudrama Acorn TV south america CBS japanese video RT21 debate dragons 24 frames rt labs Image Comics Tubi Broadway Anna Paquin spinoff zombie witnail Bravo Music book Peacock 1990s First Reviews Paramount Network TCM TV renewals Family DC Universe Pet Sematary saw Grammys dexter Black Mirror Mudbound blockbuster Funimation justice league sag awards kaiju romance Marathons rotten movies we love Fox News dc Premiere Dates remakes docuseries police drama Classic Film NBC award winner Marvel Television Photos psycho crime drama Travel Channel australia Pirates jamie lee curtis television Mary Tyler Moore Quiz Ovation sports Columbia Pictures Chernobyl Reality BBC war hispanic Countdown 21st Century Fox The Purge Certified Fresh Song of Ice and Fire comedies name the review screen actors guild Spectrum Originals cars french DC Comics Baby Yoda casting 4/20 vampires discovery feel good latino blockbusters Tarantino elevated horror football zero dark thirty Film Awards Tour cancelled TV shows diversity Comics on TV Dark Horse Comics deadpool jurassic park Mary poppins Year in Review composers indie scary movies spanish singing competition Turner Classic Movies Exclusive Video New York Comic Con President hollywood new star wars movies Netflix sequel Sundance TV posters Apple TV Plus golden globe awards miniseries romantic comedy true crime transformers Binge Guide Television Critics Association Pop YouTube Red scorecard free movies ABC disaster Watching Series royal family Country universal monsters mutant social media Pop TV TCA Awards scene in color APB Walt Disney Pictures Action movies sequels Disney Channel Cartoon Network joker james bond book adaptation gangster The CW festival Endgame live action Trophy Talk Musicals GIFs blaxploitation young adult Rock chucky hist The Academy mission: impossible Television Academy BAFTA anime Tomatazos black Toys comic book movies 93rd Oscars Opinion ESPN women adaptation Emmys See It Skip It space fast and furious Super Bowl Reality Competition Kids & Family 45 Best and Worst Marvel OneApp canceled TV shows Emmy Nominations DirecTV Star Wars facebook Writers Guild of America Pride Month critic resources HBO Academy Awards Syfy CBS All Access Oscars telelvision HBO Max aliens DGA asian-american Apple TV+ ITV 2018 natural history teaser 2021 godzilla X-Men directors richard e. Grant Comedy Central documentaries ViacomCBS rom-coms E3 Fox Searchlight cooking golden globes monster movies know your critic independent The Witch BBC America cinemax streaming series 99% Cosplay 73rd Emmy Awards movie all-time TLC based on movie action-comedy BET Awards period drama best Alien FOX Chilling Adventures of Sabrina die hard Biopics marvel comics halloween tv a nightmare on elm street TCA 2017 HBO Go SXSW biopic CNN video on demand dceu American Society of Cinematographers Vudu IFC Arrowverse Creative Arts Emmys ratings criterion cartoon children's TV Spring TV spain TNT Set visit pirates of the caribbean Holidays Sundance Now YA trailers batman Amazon Prime Video dark Winners politics finale comic book movie new zealand Lifetime game of thrones anthology nfl screenings reviews hidden camera El Rey popular Rom-Com TBS supernatural FX MSNBC comic toronto ID The Arrangement FXX boxoffice comic books Sony Pictures theme song Summer laika science fiction Nickelodeon 71st Emmy Awards VOD Disney Valentine's Day Nat Geo Mindy Kaling comiccon adenture renewed TV shows spanish language reboot Amazon Prime IFC Films LGBTQ unscripted animated foreign cops 2015 Character Guide 72 Emmy Awards 20th Century Fox medical drama game show Horror kong Sneak Peek