Jungle Book Rules, Civil War Looms
By John Hamann
May 1, 2016
Over the last nine weekends, a Disney film has finished at number one an amazing six times. They are going to be eight for 11 very soon, as here comes Marvel’s Civil War.
2016 is an odd year. Normally, this is a blockbuster weekend, as it is the 18th weekend of the box office year, a weekend that has seen such historic releases as Avengers (and its sequel), Iron Man (and Iron Man 3), and Spider-Man. Instead, this weekend we get a comedy about a cat in Keanu, another bad Garry Marshall Hallmark card movie in Mother’s Day, and a lower class animated feature called Ratchet & Clank. So, instead of a blockbuster weekend, we get the opposite, and this weekend’s results are creating a massive vacuum for next weekend’s Captain America: Civil War, which is going to be ripe for a huge opening weekend.
Our number one film, for the third consecutive weekend, is The Jungle Book, Disney’s latest box office juggernaut currently dominating the planet. The Jungle Book is a seemingly unstoppable force. Even over a slow weekend like this one, the Disney release still held remarkably well. The Jon Favreau film earned another huge $42.4 million this weekend, dropping 31%, better than last weekend’s fantastic 40% dip, but with the superhero blockbuster coming next weekend, it needs to earn while it can. Given the massive initial reception and the gross-to-date, one might expect The Jungle Book to wane a bit this weekend, but the opposite happened. The critically-adored family flick records the seventh best third weekend ever, beating Zootopia’s third weekend when it earned $37.2 million and Age of Ultron’s $38.9 million, and just missingThe Dark Knight’s $42.7 million.
The Jungle Book crossed the $200 million domestic mark on Tuesday, its 12th day of release. It also crossed the $250 million mark today, its 17th day, which is incredibly speedy for a film not released in summer or at Christmas (it tied Iron Man 2). The Jungle Book now stands with a stunning domestic gross of $252.1 million after three weekends – and will now likely hit $350 million at the domestic box office. The $175 million film has also crossed the $430 million mark overseas, and has passed the $680 million worldwide mark.
Where it finishes will depend on how it plays against Civil War next weekend. Yes, it will likely be decimated next weekend, but I expect it to perk up for a few weekends after. It is amazing to think that Disney will likely have three $300 million earners released within three months of each other, as they stack up Zootopia, The Jungle Book and Captain America: Civil War. All three films will be in the top ten next weekend.
Second (just barely) goes to the nightmare that is The Huntsman: Winter’s War, Universal’s lame sequel to Snow White and the Huntsman from 2012. After disappointing last weekend with a $19.4 million frame, Winters War got crushed further this weekend, as the Chris Hemsworth starrer pulled in an ugly $9.39 million, dropping a severe 52%. Remember, this one cost $115 million to make, so it will need a $350 million worldwide gross for Universal to see a return on investment. Domestically, Winters War has earned only $45 million, while its overseas total has risen to $97 million, leaving this one gasping for air.