Much like he is in virtually every country on the planet, Dwayne Johnson is immensely popular in China, so much so that the nation almost single-handedly saved his dismal Die Hard knockoff Skyscraper from commercial disaster, contributing $98 million of the movie’s $304 million global haul, compared to a meager $68 million domestic gross.
However, even the might of the biggest star in the industry hasn’t been able to stop Disney’s Jungle Cruise from sinking without a trace after its release in China last Friday, where it’s rather embarrassingly limped to a paltry $3.3 million debut, although there are plenty of reasons for that.
First and foremost, the theme park adaptation has been available on Disney Plus Premier Access since the end of July, and despite what the local government would try and have you believe, the piracy of Western blockbusters is as much of an issue in China as it is over here, meaning that huge swathes of the target audience will have already seen it months ago.
Additionally, the buzz has long since died off for a project that’s been in theaters for over three months, even with a sequel announced, so there simply wasn’t much interest. Hopefully, Disney will have recouped a sizeable amount of cash from those Jungle Cruise Premier Access sales, because a running total of $213 million for a $200 million production is poor, even by the standards of the pandemic era.