Dwayne Johnson Is Surprisingly Blowing Up Netflix as Disney+ Gets Left Behind

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Dwayne Johnson as Spencer Strasmore in 'Ballers'

Credit: HBO

Hollywood star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is surprisingly blowing up Netflix as disruption for Disney+ gets announced.

Dwayne Johnson as John Hartley in 'Red Notice'
Credit: Netflix

Dwayne Johnson made his feature film debut in 2001, starring as the Scorpion King in The Mummy Returns. The former World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE) star then went on to headline The Scorpion King (2002) a year later. Credited as The Rock, Johnson’s salary for the part was the highest reported for a first-time actor in a leading role.

Over the last two decades, Johnson has cemented himself as a popular, beloved, and lucrative leading man. From family-friendly adventures like Tooth Fairy (2010) to his role as Luke Hobbs in the Fast & Furious franchise, beginning with Fast Five in 2011 and most recently in Fast X (2023), Johnson’s Hollywood star power has driven many to the movie theater.

Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt in 'Jungle Cruise'
Credit: Disney

In more recent years, Johnson’s box office prowess has shined with roles in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) and its sequel Jumanji: The Next Level (2019), both of which performed extremely well worldwide, as well as his role as Frank Wolff opposite Emily Blunt in The Walt Disney Company’s Jungle Cruise (2021).

However, the Johnson force would stumble when the actor’s passion project for DC Studios, Black Adam (2022), failed to deliver on its high expectations. Pitched as the savior of the troubled DC Extended Universe, Black Adam failed to make a splash, netting only $390 million globally — it did, though, create excitement when it revealed the return of Henry Cavill’s Man of Steel, Superman.

Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam
Credit: Warner Bros.

That would all change shortly after as James Gunn and Peter Safran were appointed as co-CEOs of DC Studios by Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav. The pair rebranded the entire DC Extended Universe to simply the DC Universe and will relaunch the franchise with “Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters”. The reboot will also feature an entirely new Superman in Gunn’s Superman: Legacy (2025) movie starring David Corenswet and Rachel Brosnahan as Clark Kent/Kal-El/Superman and Lois Land, respectively.

The change in leadership can also be attributed to the removal of Johnson’s Black Adam (at least for now) from the DCU. Johnson recently stated that the leadership flux at Warner Bros. was the cause of Black Adam not being taken forward in the franchise.

Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam
Credit: Warner Bros.

DC aside, though, and it’s clear Johnson still holds an immense amount of weight when it comes to the wants of audiences. Earlier this year, it was announced that Dwayne Johnson’s NFL sports comedy-drama, Ballers, would begin airing on Netflix on August 15. Despite originally airing on HBO, Ballers, as well as other titles like Insecure and Six Feet Under, were shopped to Netflix in a huge deal.

Ballers aired for five seasons between 2015-2019, and its new home on Netflix is proving to be successful. According to data from Flix Patrol, it can be seen that the Dwayne Johnson show is blowing up Netflix, ranking sixth among the most-watched TV shows on the streamer at the time of publication. Ballers was created by Stephen Levinson and stars Dwayne Johnson as retired NFL player Spencer Strasmore.

Dwayne Johnson as Spencer Strasmore in 'Ballers'
Credit: HBO

Related: Dwayne Johnson May Be Banished From Movies After Latest Damning Allegations

Despite worries about Netflix, the streaming giant has a total of 238 million subscribers, much higher than the fledgling Disney+, which recently reported another loss of subscribers, coming in at 146 million at the end of the third fiscal quarter. This along with other issues like price increases and a password-sharing crackdown has signalled worry for Disney fans.

As for Johnson’s future with Disney, the San Andreas star is involved with the upcoming live-action remake of Moana (2016), where the actor will likely reprise his role as the demigod Maui. Johnson announced the feature film earlier this year from the beaches of O’ahu. His production outlet, Seven Bucks Productions with Dany Garcia, will partly produce for The Walt Disney Company.

Moana and Maui
Credit: Disney

Related: Fans Can’t Believe New ‘Moana’ Look With Zendaya and Dwayne Johnson

In terms of 2023, the former professional wrestler will appear in Red One (2023) from Amazon Studios. The actor will play Callum Drift alongside Chris Evans and will reportedly earn an industry-high paycheck for his role.

Are you watching Ballers over on Netflix? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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