When going to the movie theater this year – or more realistically streaming at home – Dwayne Johnson has been unavoidable. The wrestler turned actor has been at the head of multiple franchises as well as some new properties coming out. Most notable for his connection to the Fast and the Furious franchise, Johnson has been branching out. His year has been so prolific as a leading man that two of his movies have gone head to head in ratings. According to Variety, both Red Notice and Jungle Cruise have climbed to the top of Nielsen’s Top 10 SVOD list.
For some, Nielsen ratings are death to creativity. Dan Harmon in particular was vocal about his dislike for the rating system (via Nola). However when it comes to measuring the popularity of a property, Nielsen seems to have it down. Because of the recent push for streaming content, Nielsen even has plans to upgrade their system to include these numbers with Nielsen One (per Deadline). This initiative will launch in 2022 and allegedly have more precision when it comes to ratings.
Between the two dueling films, Red Notice in particular has done extremely well. According to The Verge, Johnson’s recent heist movie broke a record. The film had the most views per day for the day it was released. The previous record holder was Sandra Bullock’s Bird Box, which premiered in 2018. Many have questioned how a typical action movie brought in so many viewers. One explanation is of course its cast.
Not only is Dwayne Johnson one of the most seen actors currently, but so are other cast members. Other heavy hitters in the film included Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds. Both actors have seen success in the super hero genre and have reached great heights in fame. Gadot is set to appear in Wonder Woman 3 as well as the upcoming film Cleopatra, despite a recent controversy (per BBC). Reynolds is famous for his internet personality as well as another recent success story, Free Guy (via Deadline). The Verge also suggests that Red Notice’s popularity has something to do with the recent push for streaming.
Jungle Cruise has slightly less cachet, only because it has only one additional movie star in it. Dwayne Johnson is joined by Emily Blunt in the action-adventure. It has been some time since audiences have had a straight action-adventure with the same level of humor and effects as something akin to Indiana Jones or The Mummy. Jungle Cruise is not the first family friendly film to be based on a theme park ride and judging the recent success, it probably won’t be the last (The Hollywood Reporter).
If that wasn’t enough, Dwayne Johnson still has more coming down the pike. Johnson will be joining his Red Notice co-stars journey into superhero stardom, if Black Adam has anything to say about it. Johnson has been unable to contain his excitement to join the DC universe as the anti-hero. As promised, Johnson delivered additional set photos that display him as the titular character. There will surely be no shortage of The Rock any time soon. And as the ratings go to show, the only competition he has is himself.