Weekend Box Office: “Book” Is the King of the Box Office Jungle

Once again, Disney struck gold at the box office, this time with their latest version of the classic tale The Jungle Book. The critically acclaimed family adventure scored the second biggest April opening ever while becoming the latest 2016 release to pull in summertime numbers during the normally quiet spring season. Not surprisingly, the top ten was up a huge 82% over last weekend and 52% over last year at this time.

Directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Chef) and featuring the voice talents of Bill Murray, Christopher Walken, Idris Elba and Scarlett Johansson, the live-action Jungle Book opened on 4,028 screens Friday where it went on to earn $103.6 million in its first three days. In addition to owning the domestic market, The Jungle Book stormed the international box office as well. The family adventure got a head start last weekend in 15 markets, where it earned $31 million. The Jungle Book expanded Friday to 34 additional territories, which resulted in a $136 million sophomore session. After ten days, the overall global total cume is a terrific $290 million.

Ticket buyers weren’t the only ones digging the film. Critics were also quite taken by the film. They gave the film a 95% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes while ticket buyers gave it an “A” rating on CinemaScore. With such strong backing from both camps, the road ahead for The Jungle Book is looking pretty great. The film should become the studio’s third consecutive hit to earn more than $300 million domestically following Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Zootopia. It also has a pretty good shot at becoming the Mouse House’s next billion-dollar earner, providing Captain America: Civil War, doesn’t get there first.

Opening in second place with a solid $20.2 million from 2,661 screens was the Ice Cube sequel Barbershop: The Next Cut. The third installment in the 14-year old franchise opened slightly below the 2002 original as well as the 2004 sequel, but it could show some decent legs over the next few weeks thanks to strong reviews (92% approval on Rotten Tomatoes) and from positive feedback from ticket buyers (“A-“ from CinemaScore).

One comedy that appears to have neither critical nor public support is The Boss, which was demoted to third place this weekend while losing 57% of its opening weekend crowds. The Melissa McCarthy comedy earned an estimated $10.2 million in its second go around, which brought its overall total to $40 million. Should audience erosion continue at this pace, the most The Boss could look to finish with would be roughly $60 million.

Joining The Boss in this week’s box office business free fall is Warner’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, which landed in fourth place with an estimated $9 million, a decrease of 61%. After one month, the much-despised Zack Snyder feature has earned $311 million and is looking to finish with about $325 million. BvS has earned an additional $516 million from overseas. Once figured to be a lock for the billion-dollar club, Batman V Superman looks to be lucky if it can finish around $875 million. A great sum to be sure, providing you didn’t spend a half billion to make and market the film in the first place.

With The Jungle Book storming multiplexes across the country and grabbing most of the attention from the family market, it was inevitable that the studio’s Zootopia would take a hit. Still, it wasn’t as hard as expected as the popular animated feature was only off 42% in business from last weekend. That drop translated into an $8.2 million seventh weekend haul and a new domestic total of $307 million. Should the film continue to encounter moderate drops, Zootopia has a good shot at finishing with $330-335 million.

Outside the top five:

  1. Criminal (Lionsgate) $5.8 million (NEW)
  1. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (Universal) $3.2 million (-50%); $52 million
  1. Miracles From Heaven (Sony) $3.2 million (-31%); $57 million
  1. God’s Not Dead 2 (PFR) $1.7 million (-60%); $17 million
  1. Eye In the Sky (Bleecker Street) $1.56 million (-46%); $13.1 million

Next weekend sees the arrival of The Huntsman: Winter’s War, which should open respectably in second place behind The Jungle Book.

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