“Jungle Cruise” Sails Past the Competition


July 29-31, 2021

(estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com)


Jungle Cruise $34.2 million
The Green Knight $6.7 million
Old $6.7 million
Black Widow $6.4 million
Stillwater $5.1 million

Jungle Cruise marked another (pandemic-adjusted) strong debut for Disney, obliterating the competition with an estimated $34.2 million at the domestic box office. Disney also reported $30 million in revenue from all countries where the film was available to Disney+ subscribers with Premier Access. With the Delta variant leading to a surge in cases of the Coronavirus, it remains to be seen if Disney will put any future titles on its streaming service the same day it arrives in theaters. So far, they've promised Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings – slated to open Labor Day Weekend – will be theatrical only, but I wouldn't be surprised if that changes.

The Green Knight did remarkably well for such a niche title. David Lowery's adaptation of the epic poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight earned an estimated $6.7 million, just a hair above Old's second weekend. This is one of the widest and biggest debuts for A24. In fact, The Green Knight is already in the top 20 of the distributor's all-time highest-grossing films, and should finish in the top 10.

Black Widow didn't quite become the year's biggest film to date. It's still about $1.5 million behind F9. It also has become a flashpoint, with Scarlett Johansson suing Disney for breaching her contract for the film. How that plays out will absolutely shake up the movie business even more. Stillwater rounded out the top 5, and it will be interesting to see if it can turn its good reviews into awards nominations, or if it would have been better off with a limited fall release.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: Nine Days, the supernatural drama starring Winston Duke (Black Panther). The film averaged $4,613 on four screens.
  • Snake Eyes suffered the biggest drop of any film in the top 10 releases. After a lackluster opening, the G.I. Joe prequel/reboot dropped a massive 70 percent.
  • Joe Bell suffered another humiliating defeat. While still playing on more than 1,000 screens, it earned less than some movies in their 10th week out that are also available on streaming services. Ouch.

Next week:

The Suicide Squad is the only wide release, and could potentially rule all of August, given how little competition it faces. While it will be No. 1, it definitely won't come anywhere close to the $133 million its horrible predecessor debuted with. A safer bet is $25 million.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.