Dwayne Johnson Has a Secret Hit Movie, Career Back on Track

in Movies

Skyscraper Dwayne Johnson

Credit: Universal Pictures

Dwayne Johnson has been on a losing streak as of late, but it turns out that he does have one unexpected hit that could turn his career back around. At the very least, it shows that the Black Adam (2022) star has a devoted audience, just that they are not showing up where he wants them to.

After years of being one of the most dependable box office draws in the world (which itself followed a massively successful pro wrestling career), Dwayne Johnson seemed to hit a wall in the last several years.

Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam
Credit: Warner Bros./DC

Both Black Adam, his heavily promoted entry into the comic book movie game, and his Disney ride adaptation Jungle Cruise (2021) underperformed at the box office.

Then there have been some high-profile lawsuits, the increasing financial debacle of the XFL (his challenge to the NFL), Warner Bros Discovery essentially snatching the DC Universe away from him, and worst of all, losing his status as the highest-paid entertainer in the world.

However, Dwayne Johnson does have one unexpected hit movie right now, and it is streaming on Netflix.

Related: Dwayne Johnson Becoming Franchise Poison as He’s Rejected Again

Dwayne Johnson’s 2018 Flop Is Suddenly a Hit

Against all odds, the Fast and Furious star has a movie in the top ten most-watched movies on Netflix, the globally dominant force in streaming content.

According to Netflix itself, Dwayne Johnson’s action movie Skyscraper (2018) is the ninth most-watched movie on the entire platform for the last week. Currently, the movie has been watched for 6,300,000 minutes, making it one of the most popular movies on one of the most popular streaming sites in the world.

Skyscraper Dwayne Johnson
Credit: Universal Pictures

What Is ‘Skyscraper’?

Skyscraper is by no means one of Dwayne Johnson’s most famous films, which makes its sudden surge of popularity that much more interesting.

The movie stars Dwayne Johnson as Will Sawyer, a Marine turned FBI agent turned private consultant, who, on the recommendation of his friend Ben (Pablo Schreiber), takes a job reviewing security at the newly built tallest building in the world (or, a skyscraper).

The real hook of the movie involves Dwayne Johnson having to rescue his wife (Neve Campbell) and children (McKenna Roberts and Noah Cottrell) when terrorists (led by Roland Møller) take over the Hong Kong skyscraper from businessman Zhao Long Ji (Chin Han).

‘Skyscraper’ Was Not a Success at the Box Office

Skyscraper Dwayne Johnson
Credit: Universal Pictures

In short, the film is something of a knock-off of Die Hard (1988) with Dwayne Johnson subbing in for Bruce Willis in the John McClane role, and a tower disaster film like The Towering Inferno (1974). Unlike Willis, however, Johnson used a magnificent sword at one point, which you can actually buy on eBay now.

Critics also noticed the similarities to Die Hard, and audiences did not particularly go for the film, which was directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber in his second collaboration with Dwayne Johnson. It underperformed at the box office so much that Legendary Entertainment actually broke its distribution relationship with Universal Pictures and moved to Warner Bros.

Not a good look for Dwayne Johnson, in other words, but a relatively minor failure considering what’s going on now.

Related: Dwayne Johnson Lined up To Replace Pedro Pascal in Popular Franchise

Do Audiences Still Want to Watch Dwayne Johnson?

Credit: Universal Pictures

However, what the sudden streaming popularity of Skyscraper could mean is that people still want to be watching Dwayne Johnson, just not what has been released in theaters.

Black Adam was arguably Dwayne Johnson’s most ambitious movie, an attempt to seize the faltering DCEU and reform it around himself as the primary figure. It flopped hard with audiences and critics, and Johnson himself saw his otherwise positive figure tarnished by rumors of egotistic behavior and demands.

It is possible that means audiences do not want to see him in ambitious, grim franchises. Maybe he needs to focus back on this kind of movie, rather than huge theatrical releases.

After all, his movie Red Notice (2021) with Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds was also a streaming hit on Netflix (if not a critical one). It could be that audiences just want to watch Dwayne Johnson action movies on their own TVs and not elsewhere.

Do you think Dwayne Johnson will have a career comeback? Let us know in the comments below!


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