Box Office: ‘Raya and the Last Dragon’ Debuts to $8 Million

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Walt Disney Animation Studios’ newest original film Raya and the Last Dragon hit theaters and Disney+ with Premier Access yesterday. While, the streamer is keeping viewing numbers under wraps for now, we do know how the film is doing at the box office.

The fantasy adventure debuted on Friday with a studio-reported $2M with an industry-estimate of $8.3M. The film, which opened in 2,045 theaters across the country grossed slightly less than the $3M Friday and $9M-$10M totals industry insider were hearing about earlier this week. Raya and the Last Dragon made less than Warner Bros./HBO Max dual release of Tom & Jerry, which made $14.1M in its debut and is also less than Croods: A New Age‘s 3-day opening over its Thanksgiving stretch which posted $9.7M.

Read: Breaking: Disneyland To Reopen April 1st

Now, it should be noted that Disney was unable to reach a release agree with Cinamark, which is the third biggest theater chain in North America. This prevented Raya and the Last Dragon from debuting in over 250 addition locations. This would have easily helped Disney surpass the numbers of the aforementioned Tom & Jerry and Croods: A New Age.

According to Deadline, Raya played best in Salt Lake City, but it also had very good numbers for the pandemic in New York, Chicago, Dallas, Washington DC, Houston, Seattle, Phoenix. The trade also revealed additional information on who viewed the movie based on gender and race. The film pulled in 57% female crowd with a third of those who purchased tickets being under the age of 17 years old. The diversity breakdown was 37% Caucasian, 22% Black, 21% Asian and 20% Hispanic.

Even if Los Angeles theaters were to open, which is the second biggest moviegoing market in the country behind New York, capacity restrictions would still have an effect on the films best box office potential. Black Widow is right around the corner and even insiders are unsure if the billion dollar potential for a Marvel Studios project will be there quite yet.

The biggest question remains unanswered, will Disney+ release their numbers for Raya and the Last Dragon? As of now, official numbers have yet to be released for the studios last Premier Access title, Mulan. While execs at Disney say Mulan did well enough, six months have passed and official data has yet to be revealed. Pixar’s Soul, which did not drop with Premier Access, also hasn’t had official numbers revealed, though, multiple analystics companies have said the Pete Doctor-directed film was one of the top streamed movies through the holiday season.

Last Monday, Disney CEO Bob Chapek’s took part in a virtual investment conference hosted by Morgan Stanley and stated that the studio understands where the consumers are more impatient then ever before and that’s understandable as the pandemic has brought movies to homes as families remain in quarantine and/or still not 100% comfortable making the trek to theaters. Chapek also says they believe in the moviegoing experience, “We certainly don’t want to do anything like cut the legs off a theatrical exhibition run.” Myself like others believe this is Disney’s way of saying that they will continue to use the dual release model for films like Black Widow and Cruella, both set to debut theatrically in May.

As of now, both films are only set for a theatrical release and we here at The DisInsider have yet to hear otherwise, though, there are whispers that Black Widow will move back a month two, with a dual release for Cruella most likely. It should be noted, there weren’t any trailers for the Marvel movie on Raya this past weekend, only those for Disney’s May 28 theatrical release Cruella. Raya and the Last Dragon is in select theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access now.

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