Weekend Box Office: Shere Khan Feasts on The Huntsman

It was another great weekend for Disney’s live-action version of The Jungle Book. The family adventure earned nearly three times as much as its closest competition, the Universal fantasy The Huntsman: Winter’s War. The pricey prequel to 2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman melted with mediocre numbers in its second place debut.

After ten days of release, The Jungle Book has amassed a mighty $191.4 million domestically from 4,028 screens. The $60.8 million earned this weekend represents a drop of only 41% from its monster opening one week ago. That strong hold is the result of strong word-of-mouth from opening weekend crowds, whose feedback should keep the Jon Faverau-directed smash the king of the multiplex until Captain America and Tony Stark begin their Civil War on May 6th.

With nearly $200 million in the bank in such a short amount of time, the $300 million domestic milestone is pretty much a given. With an additional $337 million earned so far from overseas, a final international haul north of $700 million is not out of the question, which would put the film in that ever-expanding billion-dollar club. Not surprisingly, a sequel is already in the works.

Following last month’s My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, Universal served up audiences with another sequel –okay, prequel- that no one had been asking for: The Huntsman: Winter’s War. After getting a head start overseas two weeks ago, the $115 million production arrived in North America Friday to open with an underwhelming $20.8 million from 3,791 theaters.

Despite replacing Snow White and the Huntsman’s master thespian Kristin Stewart with three actresses who can actually act, the critics brought the heat on Winter’s War by way of a damning 17% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Even ticket buyers were mixed on the film. They gave the film a “B+” rating on CinemaScore.

With Captain America: Civil War opening next Friday overseas and then the following week here in America, The Huntsman stands little to no chance of coming close to earning what Snow White and the Huntsman did four years ago: $156 million. In fact, this film may not even match the opening weekend figures for that forgettable blockbuster.

In third place was Barbershop: The Next Cut with $10.8 million from 2,676 theaters. Off 46% from last weekend, the Ice Cube comedy has earned $36 million so far and could wind down its run with a respectable $55 million.

Disney’s Zootopia entered its second month in the top five with a $6.6 million fourth place finish. Off only 19% from its seventh round, the blockbuster has earned $316.4 million domestically and an additional $590 million from overseas markets. The billion dollar global milestone is not out of the question.

Rounding out the top five was the Melissa McCarthy comedy The Boss with an estimated $6 million from 3,066 theaters. Off 39%, its three-week total stands at $49.5 million. The Boss should retire with approximately $60 million.

Outside the top five:

  1.  Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (Warner) $5.5 million (-39%); $319.5 million
  1.  Criminal (Lionsgate) $3.1 million (-46%); $10.8 million
  1.  My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (Universal) $2.1 million (-35%); $55.3 million
  1.  Compadres (PNT) $1.35 million (New)
  1.  Eye in the Sky (BST) $1.2 million (22%); $15 million

Next weekend sees the arrival of Keanu, Mother’s Day and Ratchet & Clank.

Fear not, kids. Civil War is almost here.

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