A Dwayne Johnson Movie Is Finally Getting Released In A Major Market

By Michileen Martin | 2 weeks ago

dwayne johnson

Once known simply as one of the world’s most popular professional wrestlers, Dwayne Johnson has since become Hollywood royalty. Whether he’s starring in action blockbusters like the Fast and the Furious franchise or voicing demi-gods in animated Disney features like Moana, Johnson tends to put butts in theater seats. That’s good for Hollywood, considering Johnson is a busy guy appearing in plenty of movies. In spite of his popularity and his starring role in the flick, it’s taken China over three months to release his latest feature, Disney’s Jungle Cruise.

Deadline reports today that Jungle Cruise has finally been given a theatrical release date of November 12 in China, where it — along with other films produced outside the country — are subject to review by the government. In comparison, Jungle Cruise released stateside on Friday, July 30. The Dwayne Johnson adventure flick is one of three movies whose Chinese release dates were announced today. The other dated releases were given to Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins and the Sony animated musical Vivo, both of which will hit Chinese theaters a week before Jungle Cruise, on November 5.

As far as Disney’s releases in China are concerned, things seem to be taking on a very “feast or famine” look in 2021, based almost completely on whether or not their movies get released. Dwayne Johnson is popular in China, and Jungle Cruise is expected to do well now that a release date has been secured. Likewise Ryan Reynolds’ Free Guy — released by the Disney-owned Fox — dominated the Chinese box office upon release and for weeks afterward. Deadline reports, however, that at least two Disney films — Black Widow and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings — are projected to make no money at all in China because neither have been greenlit for Chinese theaters, and it’s doubtful such approvals are on their way. There is still no word on whether or not the upcoming The Eternals will be greenlit for release in the country.

Even when movies produced outside of China are allowed a release in the country, the features often can’t escape the process unscathed, whether or not Dwayne Johnson has anything to do with the films. One very recent example is the marketing for this year’s remake of Dune. Earlier this week, reports emerged about the Black actress Sharon Duncan-Brewster — who plays Dr. Liet Kynes in the film — being completely absent from Dune movie posters in China, while being featured prominently in stateside posters. The marketing seems suspiciously similar to similar Chinese marketing campaigns like those for 2015’s The Force Awakens and 2018’s Black Panther. An example of the differences between stateside posters for The Force Awakens and those appearing in China can be seen below. Note the size and placement of John Boyega’s character Finn on each poster.

Deadline reports that another Dwayne-Johnson-less blockbuster currently waiting for Chinese authority clearance is Sony’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage. Sony execs are likely waiting for such clearance with bated breath. The sequel’s 2018 precursor did so well in China it was granted an extended release, and Sony is no doubt hoping for a similar or better payday for the sequel.