Jungle Book Busts Out, Beats Estimates by 30%
By John Hamann
April 17, 2016
Over the weekend proper, The Jungle Book earned an amazing $103.6 million from a bountiful 4,028 venues. It easily out-opened Zootopia, which debuted with $75.1 million, and should have as good or better legs. The Jungle Book becomes the second biggest April opener ever, behind only Furious 7 ($147.2 million opening). It beat Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($95 million opening) and stayed well ahead of Fast Five’s $86.2 million opening. The Jungle Book took advantage of great reviews and fast spreading word-of-mouth to beat weekend estimates by as much as $30 million, as RottenTomatoes has it at a remarkable 95% fresh, and the Cinemascore came in at an A, with some key demos giving it an A+. The Jungle Book is going to be another $300 million domestic winner for the studio. It had already earned $57 million overseas prior to the weekend, and increased that total to $187 million this weekend.
Jon Favreau is becoming a big deal at the box office, despite some significant misses. In 2003, Favreau made Elf, a film that is now a Christmas tradition, but at the time was a small, $33 million film that earned over $200 million worldwide (but those grosses are likely dwarfed by the revenue from home video). After a loss with Zathura – which is an under-appreciated film – Favreau directed Iron Man, which grossed almost $600 million worldwide and spawned the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He came back for more with Iron Man 2 ($624 million worldwide). He then lost Universal a small fortune on Cowboys & Aliens before making the very small Chef, which turned into a small hit. That brings us to today with The Jungle Book, a film that cost Disney $175 million to make. Favreau hit this one out of the park as well, and has already signed on for the sequel.
Finishing second is Barbershop: The Next Cut, which had to live in the shadow of The Jungle Book – a film that was playing to everyone, not just kids. Malcolm Lee stepped into directing duties this time around, as the Barbershop series revitalizes itself for MGM 12 years after the last film came out. Lee and Cube put together a very good film – it is 91% fresh at RottenTomatoes, and audiences responded. Barbershop 3 eared a decent but not spectacular $20.2 million from a trim venue count of only 2,661.
The Next Cut earned the A- Cinemascore that MGM and Warner Bros. were looking for, as both of the earlier Barbershop films earned the same score and saw decent legs because of it. This one was made for $20 million, right in between the cost of the first film ($12 million) and the third film ($30 million). Some were hoping for more here, but given the critical reaction and audience response, I think this one will be around for a while.
Finishing third and now further ahead of Batman v Superman is The Boss, Melissa McCarthy’s latest that hit with her fans last weekend, but no one else. Given the C+ Cinemascore, it should be no surprise that Tammy (sorry, I mean The Boss) fell 57% to $10.2 million. The Boss fell even harder than Tammy did (!), as that one fell only 42% in its second weekend against the debut of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which opened to $72.6 million. The Boss cost $29 million to make, so the Universal release is going to need to earn at least $90 million worldwide to find a profit. Tammy earned just over $100 million worldwide; therefore, the same result for The Boss is going to be a stretch.