CANCEL SCHMANCEL: Disney's 'Death on the Nile' tops US box office despite 'problematic' cast
The film was called 'every publicist's nightmare' due to the artists involved in it, with a canceled star in a key role and supporting cast allegedly being anti-vaxxers
'Death on the Nile' was already facing issues before its much-delayed February 11 release. The Disney film had been rescheduled several times, moving from December 2019 to October 2020 and then being pushed back even further due to Christopher Nolan's directorial 'Tenet' underperforming at the box office. During this period, it was removed from Disney's list of upcoming releases along with 'Free Guy' pending further notice. To add to its misery, 'Death on the Nile' was banned in Lebanon and Kuwait due to Gal Gadot's Israeli Defense Forces background.
An adaptation of the 1937 novel by Agatha Christie, 'Death on the Nile' boasts of having an ensemble cast that includes Kenneth Branagh, Tom Bateman, Annette Bening, Russell Brand, Ali Fazal, Dawn French, Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Rose Leslie, Emma Mackey, and Letitia Wright. The film's official synopsis reads, "Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot's Egyptian vacation aboard a glamorous river steamer turns into a terrifying search for a murderer when a picture-perfect couple's idyllic honeymoon is tragically cut short."
If the obstacles against the film weren't enough, few of the core cast members and their lives off the sets added to the troubles that 'Death on the Nile' was facing. With Armie Hammer being accused of abuse and of having cannibalistic desires, Gal Gadot's rendition of 'Imagine' being called tone-deaf and insensitive, and Letitia Wright and Rusell Brand allegedly being anti-vaxxers, 'Death on the Nile' was soon known as "every publicist's worst nightmare." Made on budget of $90 million, Disney had spent around $18 million on the film's TV commercials.
'Death on the Nile,' however, has managed to rake in $5.1 million on its opening night, beating its theatrical competitors JLo starrer rom-com 'Marry Me' and Liam Neeson starrer 'Blacklight.' The film reportedly made $1.1 million from its Wednesday and Thursday night previews. 'Death on the Nile' is expected to make $12.7 million by the end of the weekend.