Cocaine Bear has snorted up a solid opening weekend, earning $2 million in Thursday previews at the domestic box office. The R-rated action-comedy opened in 6543 North American theaters last week.
The mid-budget film cost roughly $35 million, much of it used on the CGI bear. The film is projected to open with as much as $20 million. Positive word-of-mouth and meme-ability online have contributed to the film’s success.
Fans Want Another Bear Story
Fans on social media are calling for another real-life bear to get its movie. One such fan is Twitter user @mavericksmovies, who tweeted his suggestion.
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The tweet quickly gained traction, with others commenting about their excitement for a potential movie about Wojtek. @RandyShulman comments that they would “gladly” watch this movie
That would be a movie I’d go to gladly.
— Randy Shulman🏳️🌈🐈📽️🥯🎢 (@RandyShulman) February 25, 2023
Meanwhile, @santiliste11 suggests a “bear trilogy.”
We need the bear triology. Three movies on crazy bear stories. I already see it having a box set on the criterion collection.
— Santi Liste ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@santiliste11) February 24, 2023
Oh my god, that sounds like the most awesome movie ever made!
— Michael Davis (@MichaelDavis92) February 24, 2023
Best. Story. Ever. I will see cocaine bear in hopes it will lead to Antifa Bear.
— Shauna (@2023shaunalynn) February 25, 2023
Private Wotjek sounds like a good title to me 😄
— Chris Smith (@ChrisSm23986106) February 25, 2023
Given the incredible true story of Wojtek, it’s no surprise that fans are clamoring for a movie about this unconventional war hero. The idea of a beer-drinking, cigarette-smoking bear who fought fascists is undeniably appealing. The fact that this story is rooted in history only adds to its potential as a cinematic sensation.
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A Cocaine Bear Sequel Is In Order
Warden, the writer of Cocaine Bear, already has plans for more films. In an interview with Variety, the writer explains how “the bear’s not the bad guy” in the movie. This would help continue to tell the story “over and over again.”
“For the sequels, I definitely have ideas for that. The bear’s not the bad guy in this movie. What happened is a product of circumstance and everybody else’s poor decisions. I think that is a story that we can continue to tell over and over again. I’d be excited to tell it because there are some really good ideas that we have for the subsequent movies.”
If a Cocaine Bear sequel does not follow through, a Wojtek movie would also be an opportunity to explore deeper themes. For one thing, the idea of a bear being trained to fight in war raises questions about the ethics of using animals in conflict. Of course, there are some challenges to bringing Wojtek’s story to the big screen.
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Unlike Cocaine Bear, which has a clear and contained narrative arc, Wojtek’s story is more episodic, and it’s unclear what the central conflict or dramatic tension would be. But with the right screenwriter and director, there’s no reason why Wojtek couldn’t become the next unlikely animal movie star.