Monday, May 27, 2024

The Amazing Story of Disney’s “Cruella” and How it Went from Bomb to Unexpected Hit


You know, I really liked “Cruella.” I said so in my review.

Then came the naysayers, and the $30 surcharge to see it on Disney Plus. “Cruella” opened on May 28th against “A Quiet Place 2” and didn’t do so well. In fact, Disney started cutting its theater count and box office starting falling. On Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday of last week, “Cruella” dipped significantly below $1 million a day.

But then! Lo and behold! A trend popped up. Down from its high of 3,922 theaters to 3,100, “Cruella” has just had a terrific weekend. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday– respectively $1.5 mil, $1.9 mil, $1.7 mil. It’s up to $64 million US and $138 mil worldwide. Word of mouth must be good, and should be good. Emmas Stone and Thompson are a hoot, the whole thing is a lot of fun. Who cares that Cruella kills her adoptive mother? Get over it!

So maybe they’ll get to $75 million or more. And maybe instead of spending $30 over and above the Disney Plus sub, people are going to the movie theater to see those amazing sets and costumes. They’re award winners, by the way. and must be seen on a big screen.

“Cruella” gets a happy ending, and I’m very pleased. Plus, the soundtrack is a hit, Now we need a Volume 2.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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