Many of Disney’s live-action remakes based on the back catalogue of animated classics leave a lot to be desired, but Cruella actually managed to exceed expectations. An origin story for the 101 Dalmatians villain had lingered in development hell for a decade, with many people questioning why such a tale even needed to be told.
As it turned out, all the movie needed was two powerhouse performances from a pair of Academy Award winning actresses, a soundtrack full of instantly recognizable needle-drops, some jaw-dropping costume design and an attitude that was about as punk rock and anarchic as we could reasonably hope to expect from the Mouse House.
By any measurable metrics, Cruella was a huge success. Critics deemed it worthy of a 74% score on Rotten Tomatoes, but audiences clearly enjoyed it a whole lot more, rating it a mighty 97%. It earned $233 million at the box office and brought in $20 million from Disney Plus Premier Access in through its opening weekend alone, so it’s little wonder we’re getting a sequel.
Since being removed from behind the paywall and added to the platform’s library, Cruella dominated the Nielsen movie charts for the week ending August 29th. Emma Stone’s scenery-devouring star vehicle was streamed for 815 million minutes, almost 300 million minutes ahead of Jason Momoa’s Netflix action thriller Sweet Girl in second.