After last weekend’s photo finish, Hollywood leaves nothing to chance this frame, as we’re about to have a new king of the jungle (sorry) by a significant margin.
Weekend Box Office Forecast for April 15-17, 2016
By Tim Briody
April 15, 2016
Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book has been a frequent target of Disney film adaptations through the years, with the most famous being Disney’s animated classic from 1967, but also saw a live action adaptation in 1994 and an animated sequel in 2003, with some straight to video releases here and there. Now, because they can and because technology these days is pretty awesome, we have another live action offering.
Like most remakes and updates today, The Jungle Book is essentially a reboot: the story of a boy named Mowgli raised in the jungle by a bunch of anthropomorphic animals who speak to him, raising the ire of one not-so-friendly tiger who believes the presence of a human threatens their existence. The film introduces 12-year-old Neel Sethi as Mowgli, but the real highlight is the voice cast, which includes Bill Murray as Baloo, Lupita Nyong’o as Raksha, Scarlett Johansson as Kaa and Idris Elba as Shere Khan, the film’s primary antagonist.
Directed by Jon Favreau (didn’t see that one coming, did you?), The Jungle Book is getting rave reviews for both its use of CGI and for successfully updating the timeless family film. Zootopia has had the the family market on lockdown for the last several weeks (and crosses $300 million this weekend), but here’s something beyond perfect for families and the weekend’s box office will reflect that. Look for a great weekend of $76 million.
You’ve probably forgotten about Ice Cube’s Barbershop franchise since the last one was in 2004 and Queen Latifah’s spin-off Beauty Shop was released in 2005. Ice Cube hasn’t forgotten, so now we’re back 12 years later with Barbershop: The Next Cut. The sequel finds Ice Cube’s Calvin still running the local barbershop and trying to adapt to the changing times and neighborhood, and I’m sure we all learn an important lesson about family and friendship in the end. Besides Ice Cube, the film brings back Cedric the Entertainer, Anthony Anderson and Eve from previous Barbershop entries and adds Nicki Minaj, Regina Hall and Common.
The long layoff has somehow paid off in the critical department as it’s earning the best reviews in the entire franchise, which is uncommon for the fourth entry in a series. Both previous Barbershop films opened to over $20 million and earned their modest budgets back a couple times over each. The delay between films is very long, but Ice Cube is still a popular actor and this isn’t the type of film where the target audience has long since moved on. I like it for a solid $23 million weekend.
The film with the most impressive cast on the weekend is the action thriller Criminal, starring Kevin Costner, Gal Godot, Ryan Reynolds, Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Oldman and Alice Eve. Costner plays an ex-con who has the memories of a dead CIA agent implanted into him in order to finish a job. Something that I’m sure happens all the time in their line of work. Miserably reviewed and considered a waste of the talent involved, Lionsgate is basically throwing it to the wolves on the weekend, and it’s probably looking at $8 million in a best case scenario.
In a virtual tie for first place last weekend was Melissa McCarthy’s The Boss, where despite generally bad reviews from critics, it showed that audiences have not tired of her schtick yet, since it was her fourth straight $20 million opener in a lead role, and she’ll take that streak into Ghostbusters later this summer. Between this and Tammy, though, she needs to have another Spy or else she may start running out of goodwill. Give it a second weekend of $10.6 million.
Batman v Superman tumbled another 54% in weekend three and it wheezed over the $300 million mark midweek. It’s clear that Dawn of Justice won’t match Deadpool’s $359 million, as DC continues to be the Goofus to Marvel’s Gallant. And with Captain America: Civil War coming in a few weeks and already earning glowing reviews, the negative reception to BvS will only become more laughable. The freefall continues with a fourth weekend of $11.6 million.