WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Jungle Cruise Rides to No. 1 w/ $34.18M, Ahead of The Green Knight ($6.78M) and Stillwater ($5.12M)

Image Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios

Over the final weekend of July, the box office picture grew somewhat more precarious given increasing concerns around the coronavirus Delta variant, which has led to a new indoor masking recommendation from the CDC and the imposition of masking mandates and recommendations in several cities and states across the U.S. Amid this worsening climate, three new titles – Disney’s Jungle Cruise, A24’s The Green Knight and Focus Features’ Stillwater – were released wide in the domestic marketplace, with Jungle Cruise predictably taking the No. 1 spot with an estimated $34.18M from 4,310 screens.

That’s at the higher of predictions for the family-friendly title, though theatrical turnout was undeniably suppressed by the film’s day-and-date streaming availability on Disney+ (for a $30 premium price) and the aforementioned Delta variant concerns, particularly among families with unvaccinated young children. Speaking of Disney+, the studio is reporting over $30M in estimated streaming revenue globally — the second time it’s reported these numbers after Black Widow.

Jungle Cruise’s No. 1 debut came in slightly above this month’s Space Jam: A New Legacy, which debuted to $31.05M in theaters two weekends ago, simultaneous with its day-and-date availability for HBO Max subscribers. Working in Jungle Cruise’s favor is the presence of Dwayne Johnson – one of the few remaining stars capable of pulling in audiences on the strength of his name alone – and, to a lesser extent, Emily Blunt, whose star value has increased in recent years on the strength of the two Quiet Place films, the second of which only this weekend dropped out of the top 10 following a robust nine-week run.

Jungle Cruise also benefitted from an aggressive marketing push by Disney, which positioned the film – which is based on the popular long-running Disney theme park ride – as a Pirates of the Caribbean-style four-quadrant title capable of pulling in a wide cross-section of the moviegoing audience. It also boasted a robust footprint on IMAX/PLF screens, boosting its overall earning power.

Reviews for the Disney release were mixed, though its Rotten Tomatoes “Fresh” rating of 64% is reasonably good for a film of this type. Audiences seem to be largely enjoying it based on its “A-“ Cinemascore and 93% Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes. Not surprisingly, parents with children represented 38% of this weekend’s turnout.

Debuting in second place with an estimated $6.78M from 2,790 screens was A24’s The Green Knight, a fantasy-adventure starring Dev Patel, Alicia Vikander and Joel Edgerton. The indie studio has a track record of releasing left-of-center fare in the height of summer to solid results (see: Hereditary, Midsommar) and The Green Knight is no exception. The film was boosted by very strong critical notices (its Rotten Tomatoes average sits at 90%), which serve as catnip to specialty-leaning audiences turned off by more broadly commercial fare. The film’s lack of availability of PVOD or streaming services (it’s being given a 20-day exclusive theatrical run) also likely amplified the opening weekend result. Its long-term playability is in question, however, given its “C+” Cinemascore and 54% Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Falling to third place after topping the box office last weekend was Universal’s Old, which took in an estimated $6.76M in its sophomore frame. That represents a steep 60% decline from its $16.85M debut, which is a fairly typical drop for the horror genre. The $18M-budgeted M. Night Shyamalan title has $30.61M after 10 days of release.

Black Widow fell to fourth place in its fourth weekend of release with an estimated $6.43M, representing a drop of 45% from last weekend. Though that’s the lowest weekend-to-weekend drop for the film so far, the Disney/Marvel title’s unexpectedly precipitous box office slide has led it to just $167.07M to date, putting it at the very low end of MCU titles in terms of domestic gross. Of course, no other Marvel title has been released during the pandemic or, perhaps even more pertinently, been given a day-and-date release on Disney+, where audiences have the option of watching the film at home for $30. Notably, the simultaneous streaming release situation last week inspired Black Widow star Scarlett Johansson to sue Disney, alleging that her contract promised an exclusive theatrical release and that, by releasing it day-and-date on streaming, the studio was cheating her out of tens of millions in potential bonuses tied to the film’s theatrical performance.

The weekend’s final new wide release, the Matt Damon drama Stillwater, posted a so-so debut in fifth place with an estimated $5.12M from 2,531 screens, more or less in line with what was expected despite a healthy marketing and promotional push from distributor Focus Features. The adult-skewing drama received a mixed-to-positive reception from critics (75% “Fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes) and was certainly helped by the presence of Damon in the lead role. The film performed well in the South, particularly in Oklahoma — where the film is partially set — which boasted five of the top 10-grossing theaters this weekend. The opening-weekend audience was split evenly between men and women and skewed older, with 60% of the audience over the age of 35.

Space Jam: A New Legacy finished in sixth place in its third weekend with an estimated $4.27M, a 55% drop from its sophomore frame. Despite slowing its decline a bit, the Warner Bros. sequel is still fading much more quickly than is typical for a family-friendly release — likely a result of its availability on HBO Max coupled with the rise of the Delta variant. The animated sequel was also probably hurt by the debut of Jungle Cruise, which appeals to a similar family demo. A New Legacy has $60.74M to date.

In seventh place, Paramount’s Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins tumbled a brutal 70% from its disappointing $13.37M opening last weekend, bringing in just $4M in its sophomore frame. That puts the spinoff at just $22.28M to date – an extremely disappointing performance for a film with a reported budget of $88M.

F9 finished in eighth place with an estimated $2.65M in its sixth weekend, bringing the total for the Universal tentpole to $168.55M. The sequel continues to run slightly ahead of Hobbs & Shaw domestically at the same point in its run.

Rounding out the top 10 are Escape Room: Tournament of Champions and The Boss Baby: Family Business, which grossed $2.2M and $1.3M in their third and fifth weekends, respectively. The total for the Sony horror-thriller sequel stands at $20.55M while the Universal animated follow-up is $53.4M. Neither title has performed anywhere near their predecessors in the theatrical marketplace.  

OVERSEAS

Jungle Cruise grossed an estimated $27.6M in 47 territories — including No. 1 openings in Italy, Russia, Australia and Mexico — bringing its global weekend tally to $68.1M. It’s slated for a release in China, though a release date is yet to be determined.

Space Jam: A New Legacy brought in an estimated $8.3M from 67 markets, putting its international tally at $57.9M and its global cume to $118.6M.

F9 grossed an estimated $8.05M from 60 territories, bringing its international total at $473.2M and its global tally at $641.74M.

Old took in an estimated $7.52M from 44 markets, giving the Universal horror film $18M internationally and $48.6M worldwide.

Last but not least, Warner Bros.’ highly-anticipated Suicide Squad reboot grossed an estimated $7M from 5 international markets including the U.K., where it took in an estimated $4.7M and $1.6M in France. It opens in the U.S. next weekend.


Studio Weekend Estimates: July 30 – August 1, 2021

Title Estimated weekend % change Locations Location change Average Total Weekend Distributor
Jungle Cruise $34,181,000   4,310   $7,931 $34,181,000 1 Walt Disney
The Green Knight $6,784,000   2,790   $2,432 $6,784,000 1 A24
Old $6,760,000 -60% 3,379 24 $2,001 $30,613,255 2 Universal
Black Widow $6,426,000 -45% 3,360 -890 $1,913 $167,066,862 4 Walt Disney
Stillwater $5,120,000   2,531   $2,023 $5,120,000 1 Focus Features
Space Jam: A New Legacy $4,265,000 -55% 3,501 -501 $1,218 $60,739,000 3 Warner Bros.
Snake Eyes $4,000,000 -70% 3,540 19 $1,130 $22,282,544 2 Paramount
F9 $2,650,000 -45% 2,348 -502 $1,129 $168,544,615 6 Universal
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions $2,200,000 -37% 2,086 -729 $1,055 $20,551,732 3 Sony Pictures
The Boss Baby: Family Business $1,300,000 -55% 1,865 -908 $697 $53,467,240 5 Universal
The Forever Purge $1,140,000 -52% 1,166 -947 $978 $42,719,315 5 Universal
A Quiet Place Part II $580,000 -52% 779 -588 $745 $158,750,530 10 Paramount
Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain $330,000 -62% 537 -417 $615 $4,560,155 3 Focus Features
Cruella $301,000 -40% 235 -260 $1,281 $85,347,386 10 Walt Disney
Pig $232,000 -61% 336 -252 $690 $2,643,211 3 Neon
The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard $152,300 -52% 260 -216 $586 $37,737,306 7 Lionsgate
Summer of Soul $52,000 -50% 85 -65 $612 $2,199,781 5 Searchlight
Raya and the Last Dragon $26,000 -12% 30 -5 $867 $54,690,601 22 Walt Disney
Spirit Untamed $19,000 -52% 738 -157 $26 $17,617,585 9 Universal
Without Getting Killed or Caught $14,430 127% 7 6 $2,061 $23,893 2 Good Deed
Queen Bees $13,325 -51% 47 -36 $284 $1,880,622 8 Gravitas Ventures
Enemies of the State $5,000   13   $385 $5,000 1 IFC Films
Ailey $4,732 -69% 2 n/c $2,366 $26,277 2 Neon

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