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'Jungle Book' To Repeat at #1 Over 'The Huntsman: Winter's War'

by Brad Brevet
 

 
April 21, 2016

Saturday AM Update: The Jungle Book topped Friday with an estimated $16.38 million on its way to what looks like a $60-62 million second weekend. Universal's The Huntsman: Winter's War took second with an estimated $7.27 million as its three-day opening is now looking to be around $19-20 million.

For a full look at Friday's estimates click here and we'll be back tomorrow morning with a complete look at the weekend.

Friday AM Update: The Huntsman: Winter's War brought in $1 million from Thursday evening previews which began at 7 PM and played in 2,645 theaters. As a basis for comparison, Jupiter Ascending also brought in $1 million on Thursday night before bringing in $6.3 million on Friday and opening with $18.3 million. Another film that brought in $1 million in previews was Wrath of the Titans before opening with $33.4 million. Both of those films were March openers, as for films that opened in April, Tom Cruise's Oblivion brought in $1.1 million on Thursday night before bringing in $13.2 million on Friday and finishing the three-day weekend with $37 million.

Weekend Preview: The Jungle Book will hold on to the number spot at this weekend's box office with ease. Stellar reviews and an "A" CinemaScore imply solid word of mouth and only $4.2 million from advanced preview screenings suggest last weekend's $103.2 million opener isn't as front loaded as many of today's other opening weekend box office successes. Unfortunately, this means this week's new release of The Huntsman: Winter's War will fall to second, opening well below its 2012 predecessor. Also opening this weekend is Pantelion's Compadres, Bleecker's Elvis & Nixon and Roadside's A Hologram for the King, all of which are opening in somewhere around 360-400 locations.

Last weekend Disney's Jungle Book exceeded all expectations with the second largest April opening weekend of all-time. It's easy to compare the film's debut to the $116.1 million opening for 2010's Alice in Wonderland, which scored an "A-" CinemaScore and ultimately dropped only 46% in its second weekend. In determining Jungle Book's second weekend chances, a 46% drop would seem like a worst case scenario, with a best case being somewhere around 38% giving us a second weekend range around $55-64 million. If you're the more pessimistic type, the very worst this one could be looking at would be a drop matching Maleficent's 50.6%, which would result in a $51 million weekend, still well above what is expected from our next title.

The Huntsman: Winter's War arrives four years after Snow White and the Huntsman released in theaters, but the films don't exactly mirror one another. SWATH was lead by Kristen Stewart and arrived at the height of her celebrity, five months ahead of the release of the final film in the Twilight franchise. Stewart, however, is not back as Snow, instead Winter's War tells a prequel story with Chris Hemsworth back as the Huntsman, this time starring alongside Jessica Chastain. Charlize Theron returns as Ravenna, the film's lead antagonist, and Emily Blunt joins the cast as her sister, Freya, the Ice Queen.

It's a strong cast, but if the studio is looking to Hemsworth to carry the load, he's yet to prove he can open a film where he doesn't star as Thor. Combined with a lackluster international opening and poor reviews—RottenTomatoes features a 19% rating as of publication—and things aren't looking good for this one. The film opens in 3,791 theaters and tracking points toward a weekend around $25-30 million, but an opening below that may be in the offing. All told, Winter's War carries a reported $115 million budget—$55 million less than Snow White and the Huntsman—but the prequel is also looking at an opening around half of the $56.2 million brought in by its predecessor.

Along with Jungle Book, Barbershop: The Next Cut enters its second weekend after a solid start combined with strong reviews and an "A-" CinemaScore. Historical averages suggest it will be looking at a second weekend drop around 43% for a $11-12 million, third place finish this weekend.

Zootopia had its steepest drop yet last weekend, dipping 43.2%, largely due to the incoming Jungle Book. This weekend expect the drop to be less than 40% as it will continue to place in the weekend top five.

Rounding out the top five will be The Boss, which experienced a larger-than-expected, 57.8% second weekend drop. Audiences don't seem as keen on spreading the word on Melissa McCarthy's latest as much as they have her previous films and this weekend may prove a chance to right the ship and extend the film's theatrical longevity as the next R-rated comedies don't arrive until May 20 when Neighbors 2 and The Nice Guys square off.

Further down the list we have a trio of moderate releases hitting the scene beginning with Pantelion and Lionsgate's Compadres arriving in 368 theaters. As a basis for comparison, Lionsgate released Ladrones last year in 375 theaters and managed a $1.4 million opening and a year before that they released Cantinflas into 382 theaters and saw a $2.6 million opening. Both of those releases came later in the year while already this year the studio released Busco Novio Para Mi Mujer into 357 theaters and only opened with $902,457. Expect Compadres to improve on that number, likely resulting in an opening around $1.2 million.

Also jockeying for a spot in the top ten will be Roadside's A Hologram for the King starring Tom Hanks as well as Bleecker Street and Amazon's Elvis & Nixon, which recently played the Tribeca Film Festival. Both film have earned solid reviews so far and should finish around $1-1.2 million unless one of them manages to breakout.

A look at this weekend's forecast is directly below, and stay tuned as we'll have updates tomorrow morning with Thursday preview numbers for The Huntsman and on Saturday morning with an update following Friday estimates. We'll have a complete weekend wrap up on Sunday morning.

  • The Jungle Book (4,028 theaters) - $60.41 M
  • The Huntsman: Winter's War (3,791 theaters) - $24.64 M
  • Barbershop: The Next Cut (2,676 theaters) - $11.94 M
  • Zootopia (2,798 theaters) - $5.46 M
  • The Boss (3,371 theaters) - $4.88 M
  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (3,066 theaters) - $4.49 M
  • Criminal (2,683 theaters) - $2.94 M
  • My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (1,742 theaters) - $1.77 M
  • Compadres (368 theaters) - $1.21 M
  • A Hologram for the King (401 theaters) - $1.08 M

Discuss this story with fellow Box Office Mojo fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @boxofficemojo and author Brad Brevet at @bradbrevet.



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