After a rather heated week regarding the hybrid theatrical and Disney+ (Premier Access) releases of Black Widow and Cruella, with Scarlett Johansson suing Disney for breach of contract and Emma Stone also planning legal action, Deadline reports that Jungle Cruise star Dwayne Johnson and its production company, Seven Bucks Productions, is not planning on suing Disney for potential box-office losses due to its simultaneous release. It is reported that the actor is in “lock-step” with Disney after its hybrid announcement was made to deliver the film to a global market, with many parts of the world still locked down due to COVID-19 and the resurgence of the virus through a highly contagious variant.
When the news of Jungle Cruise‘s hybrid release was announced, Johnson went on Instagram to promote the film and explain that “the most important thing with our movie was to ALWAYS take care of families around the world by giving you options to watch it” and celebrated the film’s box-office success on another Instagram post, explaining that “Many challenges we faced but ultimately we stayed the course and delivered for families around the world in THEATERS and in your LIVING ROOM this weekend!!!” and that Jungle Cruise “is performing in the market place by a measure that no other movie has done this summer…”
In reality, he’s not wrong. The film made $34.2 million at the domestic box office, with an additional $27.6 million overseas and $30 million in Disney+ Premier Access sales. That adds up to $91.8 million in total grosses for the film, with $61.8 million in theatres, which isn’t bad considering the recent Delta Variant surges in the United States, which recently caused Paramount’s live-action adaptation of Clifford the Big Red Dog to be delayed indefinitely. Its box-office numbers would also be Johnson’s best since 2018’s Rampage, which made $35.7 million domestically in a pre-pandemic world.
The shift to a hybrid release model has been a pretty big success for Disney, but now it seems that many contracts weren’t properly renegotiated. Only time will tell if more stars will take legal action against The Mouse or if the studio will go ahead and release more of their tentpole blockbusters using premier access, hopefully with renegotiated contracts this time.