As Spider-Man: Far from Home nabs $91 million heading into the weekend along with over $300 million worldwide and will earn $160 million+ for the six day debut including a likely weekend gross of $77 million or more depending on how it does today, it’s good to remind ourselves about the year’s happiest surprise thus far. No not you John Wick 3! Sit down! I’m talking about Disney’s live action Aladdin remake! By the end of the day today, it will reach $900 million worldwide. It’s at $313 million domestically so far and will pass Suicide Squad to become Will Smith’s biggest film domestically when your not playing BOM’s inflation game. That’s how super duper leggy the movie is. If the movie passes Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (The last time Disney really scored on Memorial Day weekend), then it will become the biggest Memorial Day release ever globally. $1 billion worldwide may or may not be on the table depending on if the movie is still up and running when The Lion King hits theaters in 14 more days (And I’m getting my advance ticket on Sunday when I see Spider-Man: Far from Home. Thanks for asking!) But with a likely finish of over/under $1 billion worldwide, here are 6 reasons why the Guy Richie directed remake transformed into the gigantic cash eating monster no one expected it to be.
1. Online toxicity doesn’t matter!: Yes I know! Online toxicity is equal parts evil and equal parts scary! We’ve seen this whole “Online Toxicity doesn’t matter!” Thing happen before with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Wonder Woman, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Black Panther and Captain Marvel (All terrific movies by the way!) where a movie gets online hate by a bunch of cyber bullies with no brain but they don’t represent the people your seeing that movie with and that movie still becomes a gigantic monster hit. Aladdin continued to prove the Internet trolls wrong. Racist trolls, sexist trolls, and Russian bots are probably all smacking themselves in the faces because the movie you loved so much is making more money than “their” movies (I.E. The Last Jedi making more on opening weekend than how much every Alvin and the Chipmunks movie made in their entire theater runs, Captain Marvel making more in total than every Twilight or Hunger Games Movie, The Force Awakens making more on opening day than Hop’s entire domestic run, Black Panther doing better than Batman V Superman, Wonder Woman being the biggest non Christopher Nolan Batman movie domestically, etc…). Whoever started the whole “online toxicity” thing is probably spending his/her time eating paste and shoving crayons up their nose proving to the “normal people” how stupid online toxicity really is ($100 if you guess the show I’m referencing in this sentence!). So yeah, stuff like “Insert wonderful movie here is the worst movie of all time! Insert terrible movie is way better!” “This actor or actress sucks!” Or “Do not see this go see this!” Are all clickbait nobody listens to. So once again, Aladdin is proving that people are complaining about nothing for nothing.
2. Disney really needed a real smash hit on Memorial Day weekend: For 12 years, Disney has not had an actual smash hit on Memorial Day weekend since Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End became the biggest Memorial Day release in global revenue. However, when Aladdin earned a boffo $91 million/$116 million debut, everything changed. So yeah, because Disney fans are tired of seeing every Memorial Day release not become a giant monster every time they release a movie on Memorial Day, they were like “I love the original Aladdin so much! Let’s prove the naysayers wrong by seeing this new version!” So yeah. The plan worked and the movie is a giant hit.
3. Reviews don’t matter!: Aladdin earned mixed reviews on Rotten Tomatoes but not only is their moviegoer score insanely high, but it also earned an A score on Cinemascore. Yes 85% of my time on earth, I listen to the critics about whatever movie. But there are also times where I think they were being snobs. Hotel Transylvania 1 and 2 are prime examples. They really should have gotten 82% and 91% respectively. I also really think that stuff like (Coming up with random examples) The Secret Life of Pets 2, Bohemian Rhapsody and The Greatest Showman all should have gotten 83%, 95% and 86% cause they felt like they should have gotten those scores. Meanwhile Night at the Museum 1 and 2 both should have gotten 90% and 91%. However, there are movies like (Coming up with random examples again) A Star Is Born, Blade Runner 2049, and Mad Max: Fury Road That don’t deserve good ratings. But don’t The Last Jedi Or Captain Marvel me! The Last Jedi really deserved it’s 91% certified fresh rating and is keeping it for eternity because it’s actually darn amazing. Ditto Captain Marvel and it’s 79% certified fresh rating. But I got to admit that I have to agree that Aladdin (2019) should have gotten 89%.
4. People wanted something they can’t get anywhere else!: The movie is being labeled as “Adventure” right? Wrong! If you see the movie, it’s actually labeled as Fantasy/romance/comedy/musical! Can you get this kind of movie in theaters? Yes! On Netflix only? No! Aladdin is a fantasy/romance/comedy/ musical about a guy who falls in love with a girl, finds a genie, tries to impress a girl, stops an evil sorcerer and marries her. Can you go on Netflix or Amazon Prime right now after watching The Office or Friends and watch this kind of movie by typing the letters A L A D D I N? Not really! The only way to do so is to spend $10-$12 (Or higher if you can’t get over seeing movies in 3D) at a Regal or Cinemark or an AMC to watch that kind of movie. And thus the whole fantasy/romance/comedy/musical thing actually works.
5. People wanted to see a live action Aladdin ASAP: If you wanted a live action Aladdin movie that is actually a real life version of one of your favorite Disney movies, one with a diverse cast is the way to go. The cast turned out to be seemingly accurate (Girls think Aladdin is a really cute guy, Men (such as myself) think Jasmine and Dalia are hot, women think Jafar is hot, and everyone thinks the Genie is hilarious as heck), it has the Disney logo slapped onto every poster and commercial of the movie, and it’s really a genre you can’t get anywhere else (As I mentioned before, it’s a fantasy/romance/comedy/musical). And yes, I saw the movie twice cause of how unique it is compared to most remakes and it’s better than Tim Burton’s (Rather disappointing) Dumbo! Thanks for asking! So audiences went to see a live action Aladdin movie either for the first time or over and over again in a way they didn’t for Oz the Great and Powerful Or Dumbo.
And finally… 6. Two words. Will Smith: As opposed to Jim Carrey or Steve Carrell like I predicted four years ago (Pft! Chris Pratt as Aladdin, Mila Kunis as Jasmine, Hugh Laurie as Jafar! Looking back at my 20 year old self, I was pretty dumb back then with the cast predicting! Pft! Garbage like Tomorrowland, Chappie, Jupiter Ascending and Pixels being underrated! Boy was I dumb back then!), Will Smith as the Genie turned out to be a wonderful casting choice. Put Will Smith in any movie and it prints money. If you want to make a movie people were thinking of doing, put Will Smith in that movie! Oh! It’s actually Will Smith’s biggest grossing film ever overtaking Independence Day in global revenue. Your move, Gemini Man and Spies In Disguise!
So there you have it! Six reasons why Aladdin crushed expectations! Your move, The Lion King!