‘Cruella’ Strong Second Weekend Box Office, Bests Previous Disney Memorial Day Releases

It has been a busy two weeks for the live-action 101 Dalmatians prequel Cruella starring Emma Stone and Emma Thompson. The film was met with a stellar audience response, scoring a CinemaScore of ‘A’ and a 97% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, where it also holds a Fresh rating from critics. After a strong debut at the box office, where it opened simultaneously on Disney+ with premier access, Disney announced that it was already working on a sequel.

So how is the film holding up in its second week at the box office? Better than expected.

The film earned $3.28 million in its second Friday, a drop of 58%. While that does not sound like great news, it is important to note that last week’s number one film A Quiet Place 2 dropped -69% over the same period and that film is not also available to stream.

Using box office forecasting models based on Friday’s numbers, Cruella is looking at $11.26 million total for the second weekend, which would only mean a 48% drop. If you compare this drop to previous Memorial Day releases by Disney, it is actually better than normal. Alice Through the Looking Glass and Tomorrowland both saw 57% drops from Memorial Day weekend to the first weekend in June and, of course, those films were not also available on a streaming service.

It is hard to properly gauge the success of a movie week after week during the time of simultaneous streaming releases along with unpredictable pandemic weary audiences. Like Netflix and Amazon, Disney does not disclose how many people stream their movies on Disney+, and even if they did, the totals would be questioned since the data belongs solely to the streaming company. Netflix’s 2018 claim that 45 million accounts streamed Bird Box in one week was met with a lot of skepticism, since the numbers could not be verified and seemed incredibly high.

Even with the simultaneous streaming, Cruella’s second weekend box office numbers are still holding steady as strong word of mouth will likely mean a long run for the film. While all of the data, including box office totals and premier access streaming totals, will likely never be made public, the fact that Disney has green lit a sequel after its opening weekend is all the confirmation one needs to know the company is very happy with its performance.

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