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Jungle Cruise Thrives Despite Delta Variant Concerns

Disney flick does well in theaters despite renewed COVID worries
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 1, 2021 5:36 PM CDT
Jungle Cruise Thrives Despite Delta Variant Concerns
From left, Jack Whitehall, Emily Blunt, and Dwayne Johnson star in Jungle Cruise.   (Disney via AP, File)

(Newser) – Despite growing concerns over the delta variant, Jungle Cruise still drew moviegoers out to theaters during the film’s opening weekend to sail atop the North American box office. The Disney film starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt exceeded expectations by pulling in more than $34.1 million over the weekend, per the AP. The adventure movie was estimated to open with around $25 million to $30 million domestically, but it outpaced those numbers despite the surge in the coronavirus cases. Globally, Jungle Cruise brought in a total of $90 million, including $27.6 million in the international box office and more than $30 million from Disney Plus. “In this pandemic-challenged market place, it overperformed,” said Paul Dergarabedian, the senior media analyst for Comscore.

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Jungle Cruise also earned five times more than The Green Knight, which came in at No. 2 with $6.78 million. The A24 film starring Dev Patel barely edged M. Night Shyamalan’s Old, which had $6.76 million after scoring the top spot last weekend. Black Widow placed fourth after a past week of turmoil between Disney and the film’s lead, Scarlett Johansson. The actor sued the studio over the film’s streaming release, which she said breached her contract and deprived her of potential earnings. Disney responded to Johansson’s claim saying she received $20 million in compensation and that she benefited from Disney Plus’ revenue. Matt Damon’s Stillwater opened at No. 5 with $5.1 million but faced criticism as well. The drama film was blasted by Amanda Knox, who spoke out last week about her name being associated with the new movie, saying any connection rips off her story without her consent at the “expense of my reputation.”

(Read more box office stories.)

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