After years spent in development, followed by various delays (including one in response to the pandemic), Jungle Cruise is finally arriving on Friday. Along with the latest movie to adapt a Disney Parks attraction will be made available on Disney+ Premier Access for $29.99, it’s also getting a traditional theatrical release, the same strategy that was adopted for flicks like Cruella and Black Widow. So with Jungle Cruise just days away, how are its box office forecasts looking for opening weekend?
Several days ago, Box Office Pro forecasted that Jungle Cruise could open domestically anywhere between $20-40 million. The outlet noted that Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt’s star power, as well as the name recognition behind the original ride, would help draw people in, though conversely, Disney’s day-and-date release plan would “cannibalize some of its box office potential.” Now Deadline is reporting that on the domestic front, Jungle Cruise is expected to specifically open at $25 million across over 4,200 theaters.
To compare, that opening is less than two other recent Dwayne Johnson movies: 2017’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle at $36.1 million and 2018’s Rampage at $35.7 million. In fact, Jungle Cruise’s projected opening is more in the ballpark of Johnson’s late 2000s/early 2010s movies Race to Witch Mountain ($24.4 million) and Journey 2: Mysterious Island ($27.3 million). But the key thing to remember is that all these movies opened during times when there wasn’t a pandemic throwing everyday life into pandemonium. Movie theaters may be open again after being closed for a significant portion of 2020 and the first chunk of 2021, but we’re still a long ways away from them operating like they did in the Before Times.
So all that needs to be factored in when going over Jungle Cruise’s domestic box office performance. Broadening our parameters, the movie is predicted to rake in $40 million in various international territories, adding up to a $65 million total across the globe over its first days in theaters. Naturally we’ll let you know whether or not Jungle Cruise manages to miss, meet or surpass any of these figures, and Disney will also reportedly release the movie’s first weekend Disney+ Premier Access revenue figures. Critically speaking, Jungle Cruise has fallen onto the more positive side of the mixed spectrum overall, currently ranking at 66% among critics.
Set in 1917, Jungle Cruise sees Dwayne Johnson’s Frank Wolff, a riverboat captain, being hired by Emily Blunt’s Dr. Lily Houghton to transport her and her younger brother MacGregor, played by Jack Whitehall, on a jungle expedition to find the Tree of Life. Along the way, they’ll encounter not only dangerous animals and various natural obstacles, but also have to contend with a rival expedition led by Jesse Plemons’ Prince Joachim and guided by Édgar Ramírez’s Aguirre. Jaume Collet-Serra directed the feature off a script written by Michael Green, Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, and the filmmaker recently been re-teaming with Johnson on Black Adam.