Is Dwayne Johnson Hollywood’s most bankable star?

With less than stellar reviews on top of an already cursed genre, it’s a wonder why “Rampage” wasn’t a total flop at the box office.

Well, it’s not a total wonder. After back and forth projections showed “Rampage” wrestling with “A Quiet Place” to see who would come out on top at the box office last weekend, there is one main reason the video game adaptation secured the crown: Dwayne Johnson.

“It’s good old star power at work here,” box office analyst Jeff Bock said. “There’s not that many people in this day and age who can pull this off.”

Did Johnson break the video game adaptation curse? Probably not. Did his sheer star power push “Rampage” to the No. 1 spot at the worldwide box office? It seems likely.

“Rampage” bowed with $34.5 million in North America, along with an impressive $114 million overseas for a global total of $148.6 million. In China alone, the sci-fi fantasy made $55 million.

“If it’s anybody else in this film, it would tank. It would be lucky to get to $20 million if Dwayne Johnson wasn’t in in,” Bock said. “It gives you an idea of his power at the box office.”

It’s not necessarily a clear cut win, in North America at least, given the film’s $150 million budget. But compared to recent video game adaptations, “Rampage’s” opening is nothing to complain about. In March alone, Alicia Vikander’s “Tomb Raider” premiered with $23.6 million, while “Pacific Rim Uprising” debuted with $28 million.

“Audiences are tough on video game adaptations because they’ve performed so poorly in the past,” Bock explained.

It’s been a while since a tried and true movie star’s name has landed a movie alone. “That used to be reserved for Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone,” Bock said.

That’s where Johnson steps in.

“He’s a global draw unlike anybody else today,” Jeff Goldstein, head of domestic distribution at Warner Bros., said. “He connects, but it just takes him a while.”

It’s a rare thing. Sure, there’s Leonardo DiCaprio, Melissa McCarthy, and Robert Downey Jr., but after that, the list of actors who can still reliably draw a crowd grows skimpy. Jennifer Lawrence was a big hit in “The Hunger Games,” but she couldn’t entice audiences to “Passengers,” “Mother” or “Red Sparrow.” Johnny Depp used to be a star attraction, but now he mostly generates headlines for his messy finances and domestic abuse allegations. And Will Smith recently ditched the big screen for Netflix’s “Bright.” It’s hard out there for an A-lister.

Johnson’s massive overseas following definitely plays a big part in the global success of his films.

“Domestic is important, but not as important as it once was,” Bock said. “That number of of China is outstanding. $55 million? You combine Dwayne Johnson and giant monsters — that’s exactly why the film was greenlit, for China.”

That’s not to say that every Johnson movie is a sure-fire hit. But even when a movie tanks, (a belated congratulations to the Rock for earning a Razzie Award for “Baywatch”) the charismatic performer admits it with grace.

“He owns every good movie and every bad movie. Audiences like that,” Bock said. “He just wants to entertain people. You can’t live and die with every movie you put out.”

The multi-hyphenate shows no sign of slowing his roll. His next, “Skyscraper,” has all the ingredients for a summer popcorn blockbuster. It’s also the rare summer movie that’s not part of a pre-existing franchise. Johnson is the big draw.

“If the Rock wants to do it, somebody is going to fund that project,” Bock said. “He could easily win the presidency as well. That’s easy. Being a true blockbuster movie star, that’s difficult.”

RELATED: Dwayne Johnson and his children

 

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Dwayne Johnson and his children
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Dwayne Johnson and his children
Skin to skin. Our mana. Blessed and proud to bring another strong girl into this world. Tiana Gia Johnson came into this world like a force of nature and Mama @laurenhashianofficial labored and delivered like a true rockstar. I was raised and surrounded by strong, loving women all my life, but after participating in baby Tia’s delivery, it’s hard to express the new level of love, respect and admiration I have for @laurenhashianofficial and all mamas and women out there. Word to the wise gentlemen, it’s critical to be by your lady’s head when she’s delivering, being as supportive as you can.. holding hands, holding legs, whatever you can do. But, if you really want to understand the single most powerful and primal moment life will ever offer - watch your child being born. Its a life changer and the respect and admiration you have for a woman, will forever be boundless. And to my third and youngest daughter, Tiana Gia - like I did when your two older sisters Simone Alexandra and Jasmine Lia were born, you have my word, I’ll love, protect, guide and make ya laugh for the rest of my life. Your crazy dad has many responsibilities and wears many hats in this big ol’ world, but being your dad will always be the one I’m most proud to wear. Oh and one more thing.. you’re gonna love rollin’ in daddy’s pick up truck. #TianaGiaJohnson🌺 #3rdDaughter #BlessesAndGratefulMan #ImInTROUBLE
Dwayne The Rock Johnson and Simone Alexander Johnson (Photo by John Parra/WireImage)
Dwayne The Rock Johnson and Simone Alexander Johnson (Photo by John Parra/WireImage)
Surrounded by beautiful (and relentless;) estrogen and wouldn’t have it any other way. Boundless gratitude to my baby girls Simone and Jasmine for always being my greatest anchors. I love and got you for life. #NationalDaughtersDay❤️⚓️
Our Jasmine Lia would like to make a big announcement - IT’S A GIRL! 🌺 @laurenhashianofficial and I are boundlessly grateful for this blessing as this spring we’ll welcome our second baby. Plus, Jazzy is excited to boss around and protect her lil’ sis. And once again, big daddy is completely surrounded by beautiful estrogen and loving, powerful female mana. All girls. One dude. And a boy dog. I wouldn’t have it any other way. #ItsAGirl #GratefulMan #TequilaTime 🌺🙏🏾🥃
MALIBU, CA - JULY 29: Dany, Simone and Actor Dwayne Johnson arrive at the Summer On The Pier Benefiting 'The Rock' Foundation Event on July 29, 2007 in Malibu, California. (Photo by Amy Graves/WireImage)
NEW YORK - JUNE 11: (L-R) Dany Garcia, daughter Simone Alexander and ex-husband, actor Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson attend the 2009 I Have A Dream Foundation Spring Gala at 583 Park Avenue on June 11, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic)
Family prayer of gratitude 🙏🏾 (and laughs) in celebrating my mom’s 69th Birthday! My fav part of this moment is our baby daughter Jasmine, thinks we’re playing the game where daddy pretends to be be asleep so that’s why she screams, “WAKE.. AWAKE!” then a few seconds later after I kiss her head and place my hand over hers, she starts biting my hand to get my attention (just like her mama @laurenhashianofficial 😂❤️). Thank you Chef Evelyn for leading a beautiful and uplifting prayer in strong mana. We almost lost my mom to cancer 10yrs ago - she survived. Every day we’re a grateful family to have her and all our loved ones around us. Amen. #WakeAwake #Grateful #HappyBirthdayMom #Aiga
We’re extremely proud and thankful for this moment. Congratulations to our daughter @simonegjohnson on being selected as the very first #GoldenGlobes AMBASSADOR. Thank you to our friends and colleagues of the #HFPA for recognizing her value and voice. An amazing and cool honor to rep our community and the #Globes75. So much alofa and pride Xo D, @laurenhashianofficial @danygarciaco @daverienzi 👏🏾👏🏾🙏🏾❤️
HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 01: Actor Dwayne Johnson, mom Ata Johnson, daughter Simone Alexandra Johnson and Lauren Hashian arrive at the Los Angeles premiere of 'Furious 7' at TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX on April 1, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 10: 73rd ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS -- Pictured: (l-r) Actor Dwayne Johnson and Simone Johnson arrive to the 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 10, 2016. (Photo by Alberto Rodriguez/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 14: Actor Dwayne Johnson (R) and his daughter Simone Alexandra Johnson (L) attend AFI FEST 2016 Presented By Audi - Premiere of Disney's 'Moana' at the El Capitan Theatre on November 14, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Barry King/WireImage)
Actor Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and his daughter Simone attend Paramount Pictures' World Premiere of 'Baywatch' on Miami Beach, Florida on May 13, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / RHONA WISE (Photo credit should read RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - MAY 13: Dwayne Johnson and Simone Johnson attend Paramount Pictures' World Premiere of 'Baywatch' on May 13, 2017 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Jason Koerner/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JULY 23: Actor Dwayne Johnson (L) and daughter Simone Alexandra Johnson attend the premiere of Paramount Pictures' 'Hercules' at the TCL Chinese Theatre on July 23, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - JULY 14: Jasmine Johnson and Dwayne Johnson (R) attend the HBO Ballers Season 2 Red Carpet Premiere and Reception on July 14, 2016 at New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Sergi Alexander/Getty Images for HBO)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - JULY 14: Jasmine Johnson and Dwayne Johnson (R) attend the HBO Ballers Season 2 Red Carpet Premiere and Reception on July 14, 2016 at New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Aaron Davidson/Getty Images for HBO)
What a morning for our ohana! Very proud of my first born @simonegjohnson carrying the torch for our industry’s #GoldenGlobes as the first ever #GoldenGlobesAmbassador. I’m also super impressed this 16yr old got up at 2am this morning to get ready — a full 2hrs before her maniac papa bear dad gets up to workout. 🤣👏🏾🤙🏾. #OurDNA #GoldenGlobesAmbassador #Nominations #75thGoldenGlobes
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