The first US box office results for Disney’s “Raya and the Last Dragon” have been revealed, with
a studio-reported $2.5M on opening day of Friday 5th March.  The industry weekend estimate for the film is $8.3M at 2,045 theaters.

This is slightly down on the estimated numbers of $3M for Friday and $9M-$10M for the weekend.  Unfortunately for Disney, this is much lower than Warner Bro’s’ “Tom & Jerry” $14.1M and Universals “Croods: A New Age” ($9.7M).

Earlier this week it was revealed that Disney hasn’t been able to come to an agreement with Cinemark for the cinema chain to show “Raya and the Last Dragon” in their theatres.  This was because Disney wasn’t willing to budge on their terms, as Cinemark wanted a reduced rental rate because of the film being available on Disney+ Premier Access.   Warner Brothers made a deal with cinema chains for their new films being split between theatres and HBO Max.

According to Deadline, cinema chains are worried that with Disney keeping 100% of money from $30 Premier Access money, since they don’t have to share the revenue.  And at $30 price point, it’s roughly equivalent to the rental that Disney would get from five or six movie tickets.

The terms of the deal for “Raya and the Last Dragon” were a two-week minimum play with a scale that starts at a 50% rental if the film grosses ultimately between $0 and $37.5M, and then 51% if the domestic gross finals between $37.5M and $50M.   With the pandemic still causing people to stay away, it’s not taking into consideration any sales on Disney+.    It’s not expected that Disney will announce any financial details on how well “Raya and the Last Dragon” will do on Disney+ Premier Access.  Disney has never confirmed how much “Mulan” took on Premier Access last week.

Disney has recently released trailers for “Cruella” and “Luca”, but didn’t include any information about the films being only available in cinemas, leading many to believe that these movies will also be available on Disney+ Premier Access as well. “Black Widow” is also due to be released in May, but Disney has been quiet about the films release, which could indicate a Disney+ Premier Access duel release or it might be delayed again.

Bob Chapek, Disney’s CEO recently said “The consumer is probably more impatient than they’ve ever been before” as they’ve got used to watching new films at home quicker and that he’s not sure “there’s going back” to the way business was done prior to the pandemic. Bob Chapek did say that “We certainly don’t want to do anything like cut the legs off a theatrical exhibition run,” but things are changing.

Overall the weekend US box office is estimated to gross $25.1M, which is up 14% from a week ago.

If you did see “Raya and the Last Dragon” this weekend, was it on Disney+ Premier Access or at the cinema?


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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Twitter: Facebook:

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  1. ScionStorm March 7, 2021

    I know you meant "Dual" release, when talking about Black Widow. But "duel" release is exactly what theaters are worried about.