Last night, Disney’s The Jungle Book took in $7 million — more than last weekend’s full three-day debut for Criminal — and there will be no stopping the Jon Favreau-directed CGI adventure going into its second weekend. The only wide opener to challenge it will be The Huntsman: Winter’s War, the opening expectation of which is low. The Universal film directed by Cedric Nicolas-Troyan has already opened internationally, but that gross so far is underwhelming. It is expected to mirror that performance in the U.S. despite its cast of Chris Hemsworth, Jessica Chastain, Charlize Theron and Emily Blunt.
Early tracking shows the Huntsman sequel grossing in the mid-$20Ms with a shot at a high $20M- to-$30M take, a far cry from the first installment which opened to $56.2M in June 2012 and went onto gross $155.3M domestically. The film will release in 3,788 theaters on Friday. If there is one silver lining, it is that this one was said to be less expensive ($115M) to produce than the $170M-budgeted Snow White And The Huntsman. Joe Roth is the producer on this one again and Perfect World Pictures had a financial stake in this film. It starts in previews at 7 PM on Thursday.
Right now, Disney has a hold on 376 Imax screens for the second weekend in a row for Jungle Book. Meanwhile, the picture crossed $300M globally yesterday with a breakdown of $203M internationally and $110.3M domestically. Jungle Book is expected to hold and hold well this weekend. So, if it drops maybe 50%-55%, it will still gross around $47M-$48M domestically.
The other big question this weekend is how Warner Bros/MGM/New Line’s Barbershop: The Next Cut will hold. Moviegoers and critics have both taken a liking to this film so it also may have a small percentage drop in its sophomore frame. This past weekend it grossed $20.2M and you gotta wonder had the film been in the hands of Universal would it not have been marketed or distributed differently as they seem to have the Midas touch with this type of fare. The stellar performance of The Jungle Book also didn’t help matters. This one could take in around $12M next weekend.
There are two other films coming into the marketplace, but they will be small grossers: Bleecker Street’s Kevin Spacey- and Michael Shannon-starring Elvis & Nixon, which will land in about 350 theaters, and Pantelion Film’s Compadres which will get a moderate release. Elvis & Nixon, directed by Liza Johnson, has been getting some good reviews, since premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival last night.