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Weekend Box Office: Jungle Book Opens with a Mighty Roar

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By Chris Kavan - 04/17/16 at 07:30 PM CT

Disney has figured out how to turn old, animated classics into live action gold. They did it with Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent and Cinderella and now The Jungle Book. With its $100 million plus debut, it became the third $100+ movie of the year and helped the box office soar to over 50% of its numbers from last year and a hefty 76.6% increase from last weekend. Meanwhile, the third film in the Barbershop series got off to an OK start while Criminal was a misfire as it opened outside the top five despite its stellar cast. All in all a great weekend for Hollywood and for audiences.


It was a very good weekend for Disney as The Jungle Book opened to a massive $103 million opening. That is the second-best April opening on record, topping Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($95 million) and coming in behind Furious 7 ($147 million). It was also the second-best Disney live action remake, coming in behind only Alice in Wonderland ($116.1 million) but ahead of the likes of Maleficent ($69 million) and Oz: The Great and Powerful ($79 million). The film has also earned rave reviews from critics and an overwhelmingly positive response from audiences. At 95% on Rotten Tomatoes and an "A" Cinemascore (an "A+" from those under 18 and over 50), this looks like it's going to have a nice run in theaters, and could spell trouble for next weeks Huntsman: The Winter's War, which has been getting harsh reviews early on. Globally the film sits at $290.9 million. On the domestic front, The Jungle Book should be able to top $300 million and could go much higher should audiences decide to hang around for longer. In any case, it's another hit for Disney and it will easily earn back its $175 million budget in the U.S. alone.


Given the usual pattern of what happens the longer you wait to issue a sequel after the original film(s) have been out, the $20.2 million opening of the third entry in the Barbershop series is a bit of a disappointment, but not all that surprising. The original film opened to $20.6 million while the sequel opened to $24 million. Most of the original cast returned (including Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Regina Hall, Eve and Anthony Anderson among others) and audiences still support it, giving the film a nice "A-" Cinemascore. If the film isn't completely front-loaded, it could be looking at a $70 million total, but it will certainly hit $50 million. Considering the budget is estimated in the low $20 million range, even if it does completely fall apart in the next few weekends, it's still looking at making money for MGM, who won't be able to count on much international support for this one.


While most films of Melissa McCarthy tend to have some decent legs, The Boss is proving to be an exception and that's not a good thing for its long-term prospects. The Boss lost 56.9% of its opening weekend audience for a $10.17 million second weekend and a new $40.3 million total. That still nice compared to its $29 million budget, but that drop is much more than Spy (46.3%) and Tammy (41%) in their respective second weekends. Still, the film is going to have no trouble doubling that $29 million budget as it will cross $50 million without too much trouble, but it is now looking like the film is certainly going to wind up on the lower end for McCarthy and the middling reviews and audience response does have an impact on the bottom line.


With The Jungle Book pretty much taking over the large format and IMAX screens, Batman v Superman lost nearly 600 of its theaters and dropped another 61.4% of its audience in the process. The film added just over $9 million to its total, and now stands at $311.3 million. The film does stand at $825 million on the global market and the best it can hope for at this point is to reach $900 million and hopefully catch the $336.5 million of Spider-Man 3 to move up the superhero ranks. Once again, it's hard to call this movie a failure based on the numbers alone, but one must think how much higher it could have gone had the reaction been more favorable.


Despite family audiences obviously flocking to The Jungle Book, Zootopia still managed to place in the top five after seven weeks in theaters. It dropped 42.6%, which is still a nice hold and, in fact, the best hold out of any film in the top 12 for the weekend. Zootopia added $8.23 million to its total, which now has hit $307.4 million. At $880 million with international numbers factored in, it leads all films of 2016 on the global market. Given its insane hold, it will also probably wind up making more money than Dawn of Justice as that film falls to bigger and better films while families will still support this leggy animated hit. The only thing hurting Disney at this point is... Disney as The Jungle Book is targeting the exact same audience. Oh well, money in one way or another.

Outside the top five: The mind-swapping action/crime film Criminal may have tried the kitchen sink method, but not even red-hot Ryan Reynolds could salvage the muddled film. At just $5.85 million, it will be another disappointment for Keven Costner. The "B-" Cinemascore doesn't bode well for word-of-mouth and I suspect this one is going to leave theaters rather quickly and will be lucky to hit $20 million.

In milestone news, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 topped the $50 million mark by taking in $3.26 million (6th place) for a new total of $52.1 million.

Next weekend, Huntsman: Winter's War faces an uphill battle against The Jungle Book while the true-story Elvis & Nixon looks to open on a smaller scale.


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