After multiple delays, Disney’s live/action villain origin film Cruella finally debuted at the box office this memorial day weekend. The film is currently receiving solid feedback from audiences and critics alike, holding a 73% Rotten Tomatoes rating, while earning an “A” from CinemaScore.
The Emma Stone-fronted film grossed $21.3 million, Disney said, and an estimated $26.4 million over the four-day weekend, placing it in the number two spot behind A Quiet Place Part 2, which earned an impressive $58.8 million. Cruella also added $16.1 million in 29 international territories. Cruella will open in China on June 6, which should give it a nice boost for its worldwide box office total.
The numbers for Cruella might seem low, but there are some things to consider. The film was released in a little over 3,900 theaters, however, it was concurrently released on Disney+ with Premier Access for an additional charge of $29.99. So of course this would cut into a significant piece of the box office. Disney+ hasn’t released official numbers, and likely won’t anytime soon. Disney also knew the project would debut at number two this weekend.
This is a great result for Cruella. It’s not just about opening weekend for family films, and we always knew we’d be No. 2. We’re in great, great shape for a long run.Tony Chambers, Disney theatrical distribution chief
Cruella follows a young grifter named Estella, a clever and creative girl determined to make a name for herself with her designs. She befriends a pair of young thieves who appreciate her appetite for mischief, and together they are able to build a life for themselves on the London streets. One day, Estella’s flair for fashion catches the eye of the Baroness von Hellman, a fashion legend who is devastatingly chic and terrifyingly haute, played by two-time Oscar® winner Emma Thompson (“Howards End,” “Sense & Sensibility”). But their relationship sets in motion a course of events and revelations that will cause Estella to embrace her wicked side and become the raucous, fashionable and revenge-bent Cruella.
The film also stars Paul Walter Hauser, and Joel Fry as Cruella’s classic henchmen Jasper and Horace, Emily Beecham (Into The Badlands), Mark Strong (Shazam!), and Kirby Howell-Baptiste (The Good Place) as Anita.
Cruella is directed by Craig Gillespie (I, Tonya) from a screenplay by Dana Fox and Tony McNamara, story by Aline Brosh McKenna and Kelly Marcel & Steve Zissis. It was produced by Andrew Gunn (Freaky Friday), Marc Platt (Mary Poppins Returns), and Kristin Burr (Christopher Robin), with Emma Stone, Michelle Wright, Jared LeBoff, and Glenn Close serving as executive producers.
Cruella is in theaters now, and is also available on Disney+ with Premier Access for a one-time additional fee of $29.99.