Disney is producing a sequel to the fantasy adventure Jungle Cruise. The film will again star Dwayne Johnson as Frank Wolff and Emily Blunt as Dr. Lily Houghton.
As reported by Variety on Tuesday (31/8), Jaume Collet-Serra is expected to return to direct Jungle Cruise 2. However, so far there is no certainty about this.
Until now, the Jungle Cruise film stream production team that is back in the making of the sequel is the script writing team, namely Michael Green, Glenn Ficarra and John Requa.
Jungle Cruise is a film based on the rides of the same name at the Disneyland theme park. The film, which was released on July 30, is still showing in various countries with a total revenue of US$187 million.
Jungle Cruise tells of the adventures of Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt) in search of a legendary tree in the Amazon wilderness. He is assisted by a ship captain named Frank (Dwayne Johnson) who usually brings tourists.
Frank says the tree doesn’t exist, while Lily believes the legendary tree does exist. According to him, many people did not succeed in finding them because they did not have the keys, while he had them.
Their adventure becomes difficult when there is a party that turns out to be lurking along the way. They do reconnaissance using submarines so that they are not seen.
The film was originally scheduled to be released on October 11, 2019. However, it was postponed to July 24, 2020. Until the pandemic hit, Jungle Cruise was delayed several times.
Jungle Cruise officially opens in the US on July 30, 2021 in theaters as well as Disney+ film streaming for an additional cost of approximately US$29.99.
A number of film critics gave a different assessment for the film Jungle Cruise. Thirty of the 57 critics compiled by Rotten Tomatoes praised the film, while 27 others criticized the film.
A ‘Jungle Cruise’ Sequel Announcement Buys Disney The Perception Of Blockbuster Success
The timing of The Hollywood Reporter’s report on a Jungle Cruise sequel probably isn’t a coincidence. The film will debut on “$30 to own” electronic sell-through on all relevant VOD platforms (Google, Vudu, iTunes, YouTube, Amazon, etc.) starting tomorrow, after a month in global theatrical release and “$30 to lease” availability on Disney+ “Premier Access.” It also just topped $100 million at the domestic box office. We know the movie earned $30 million on “opening weekend” via the Disney+ option. We know that the Dwayne Johnson/Emily Blunt comic fantasy earned $187 million worldwide, which under normal circumstances would be pretty terrible for a $200 million would-be franchise starter, even one with decent reviews, solid buzz and strong post-debut legs. So, is Jungle Cruise successful enough to spawn a sequel, or is the announcement of a sequel intended to make you think it was a success?
If that sounds oddly paranoid, well, that’s part of the “new normal.” Disney announced (and eventually locked in) a sequel for Emma Stone’s Cruella right at the start of the film’s third weekend in theaters. Now that well-liked and buzzy 1970’s fashionista crime caper has thus far earned $225 million worldwide on a $100 million budget. That’s not a barn burner, but A) it may well have earned about that much in standard times, and B) it did earn *something* on Disney+ and via secondary VOD revenue windows. However, a film earning 2.25x your budget in theatrical during a pandemic is different than a film earning barely 1x your budget in theatrical during a pandemic. And it’s not like studios have never announced “may never happen” sequels before as a way of creating the illusion of success.
Paramount announced that Chris Hemsworth would return (as Kirk’s dead dad) in Star Trek 4 days before Star Trek Beyond opened to eventually poor ($338 million on a $180 million budget) theatrical business. Warner Bros. announced Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins returning for a third Wonder Woman and animated Paw Patrol film stream concurrently with the film’s opening weekend box office report. That made the film’s $16.7 million domestic debut (better than hoped during bleak Covid times) and HBO Max premiere seem like a success. After all, if WB was happy enough to green light a sequel, it was surely a huge win? Unless, of course, Wonder Woman was almost always going to get a threequel, since if it didn’t, it would be proof that WB kneecapped one of its biggest franchises (which would have surely earned $650-$850 million global in standard times) as a sacrificial lamb for HBO Max.
I’m inclined to think the theme park ride adaptation would have been a big deal hit had it opened under conventional circumstances. With the legs seen since the scary 55% second-weekend drop, I might argue that the Jaume Collet-Serra-directed film would have earned theatrical grosses closer to Pirates of the Caribbean ($654 million in 2003 on a $140 million budget) than National Treasure ($347 million in 2004 on a $100 million budget). Still, its $35 million debut weekend was in line with Central Intelligence, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Rampage. There was no guarantee it otherwise would have opened closer to San Andreas, Jumanji: The Next Level and Hobbs & Shaw ($55-$59 million). Did the Disney+ revenue justify, in terms of actual money and post-debut legs, the notion that a theatrically exclusive sequel might gross as well as Jungle Cruise optimistically would have in non-Covid times?
We may never know the answer to that. However, green lighting a Jungle Cruise sequel accomplishes two things. Well, three if you argue that Disney is taking a leap of faith alongside valuable talent, but I digress. First, it creates the notion that a big movie opening via a hybrid release model can earn enough cash in one revenue window or another to justify a sequel. I wouldn’t be shocked to see a sequel to the Mortal Kombat reboot. The $55 million R-rated flick was quite popular on HBO Max (by HBO Max standards, with 5.5 million households in the first 17 days). Getting a sequel would be a “proof of concept” for one of the few 2021 WB releases that otherwise might have been theatrically successful. Second, it means that Jungle Cruise becomes Disney’s first new (non-MCU/non-Lucasfilm) cinematic franchise since National Treasure in 2004.