Many of Disney’s live-action remakes based on the back catalogue of animated classics leave a lot to be desired, but Cruella actually managed to exceed expectations. An origin story for the 101 Dalmatians villain had lingered in development hell for a decade, with many people questioning why such a tale even needed to be told.
As it turned out, all the movie needed was two powerhouse performances from a pair of Academy Award winning actresses, a soundtrack full of instantly recognizable needle-drops, some jaw-dropping costume design and an attitude that was about as punk rock and anarchic as we could reasonably hope to expect from the Mouse House.
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By any measurable metrics, Cruella was a huge success. Critics deemed it worthy of a 74% score on Rotten Tomatoes, but audiences clearly enjoyed it a whole lot more, rating it a mighty 97%. It earned $233 million at the box office and brought in $20 million from Disney Plus Premier Access in through its opening weekend alone, so it’s little wonder we’re getting a sequel.
Since being removed from behind the paywall and added to the platform’s library, Cruella dominated the Nielsen movie charts for the week ending August 29th. Emma Stone’s scenery-devouring star vehicle was streamed for 815 million minutes, almost 300 million minutes ahead of Jason Momoa’s Netflix action thriller Sweet Girl in second.