Disney+’s live-action 101 Dalmatians spinoff Cruella drew 686,000 U.S. households over the four-day Memorial Day holiday weekend according to Tuesday figures from Samba TV. It’s a number that’s 39% less than the four-day Labor Day traffic for another Disney+ Premier title, Mulan, which pulled in 1.12 million U.S. households over Sept. 4-7, 2020.
Both titles were available to Disney+ subscribers at the extra cost (to own) of $29.99. While Mulan wasn’t released in theaters stateside due the deeper phases of the pandemic last year, Cruella actually had the benefit of opening in 3,892 U.S./Canadian theaters this past weekend to $26.5 million. Extrapolating the Disney+ Premier cash earned by Cruella in Samba TV households, the Craig Gillespie-directed movie generated an estimated $20.57M, and that’s a sum that Disney doesn’t have to share with theater owners.
All together, Cruella made $47.07M in box office and Disney+ Premier money in its first weekend. Mulan‘s first weekend moolah in Samba TV households amounted to $33.58M.
Samba TV only measures viewership (of at least 5 minutes) in SmartTV terrestrial TVs with a panel size of 3 million U.S. households. Even though the numbers don’t tell the entire story of Cruella‘s total number of viewers, including mobile and online, Samba TV is one of the few metrics firms out there monitoring streaming viewership, and in a world where Disney+ and sister Hulu aren’t reporting official numbers. As long as the studios don’t report, we’ll keep reporting these Samba TV numbers.
(To Netflix’s credit, they actually reported that Zack Snyder’s recent zombie movie Army of the Dead is among its top 10 most-watched, set to top 72 million global households in its first four weeks on the service.)
In regards to how well the Emma Stone-starring Cruella played this past weekend, a Disney spokesperson had this to say: “Memorial Day weekend marked the first time consumers have had substantial choice in movie viewing since the onset of the pandemic. Cruella’s strong combined showing in theaters around the world and on Disney+ with Premier Access illustrates that flexibility at this time is critical and that the overall demand for great content is strong.”
Samba TV reports that Cruella drew 83,000 in UK households where it’s available on Disney+ for an extra £19.99. Calculated out, that’s £1.66M, or $2.35M. The movie made $2.2M at the UK B.O. for a total overseas total of $16.1M.
Cruella also did 15,000 in Germany Samba TV households, and 9,000 in Australia with viewership peaking Sunday. In the U.S., female viewers over-indexed (+4%), as did Black viewers (+2%), Hispanic viewers (+52%), and Asian viewers (+53%). Of the 25 largest DMA markets, Los Angeles over-indexed the most (+53%).