Earlier this year, Disney released the live-action prequel to “101 Dalmatians” “Cruella” in cinemas and on Disney+ Premier Access. The film is set in 1970s London amidst the punk rock revolution and follows a young grifter named Estella, who is a clever and creative girl determined to make a name for herself with her designs. When she catches the eye of the fashion legend, Baroness von Hellman, their relationship sets in motion a course of events and revelations that will cause Estella to embrace her wicked side and become the raucous, fashionable and revenge-bent Cruella.
“Cruella” was considered a success, as it pulled in $221 million worldwide at the box office, in addition to the film pulling in more money through Disney+ Premier Access and digital purchases. Resulting in the film recently getting greenlight for a sequel.
Emma Stone was paid $8 million dollars upfront to appear in the first film, in addition to bonus payments. This is marked as a career-high pay for the actress.
It’s expected that Emma Stone was able to increase her payment for the second film, to counteract the money issues with the first film, which is what Scarlett Johansson has recently launched her own lawsuit with Disney over.
According to sources at THR, Disney was leaning towards releasing “Cruella” directly onto Disney+, skipping theatres, but this would have required Disney to buy out payments to achieve a full move to streaming.
Emma Stone and the film’s director Craig Gillespie pushed back against the idea of moving the film directly to Disney+ as they considered a big-screen release a matter of integrity, and the studio later changed strategies and decided to release the movie in theatres as well.
During the pandemic, there were multiple films that skipped cinemas and headed straight to Disney+ including “Soul”, “Luca”, “The One And Only Ivan”, and “Artemis Fowl”.
Do you think Disney was right to release “Cruella” as a hybrid release on Disney+ Premier Access?