‘The Jungle Book’ Rules With $291M Global Start: ‘The Huntsman 2’ Targets Second Overseas

Condolences to any movie that opened the same weekend as The Jungle Book. The much-anticipated live-action film easily took over the box office from The Boss domestically and brought in global ticket sales that topped $291 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The Huntsman: Winters War came in a distant second internationally with $17 million this weekend. The Jungle Book now holds the No. 2 spot for best opening in April with Furious 7 holding it down with $146.2 million.

Jon Favreau’s modern day version of the Rudyard Kipling tale that inspired the 1967 Disney classic The Jungle Book opened to a gigantic $103.6 million domestically. Once again, Disney has managed to make a killing from taking a classic and spinning it into a modern day jackpot. Favreau and Disney are already working on a sequel although no date has been set.

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The updated live-action/CGI film is about Mowgli, an orphan boy that has been raised by wolves and is suddenly threatened by a tiger named Shere Khan, who isn’t a fan of man. Mowgli needs to leave his family and return to the human race or become a meal. This endearing version is getting spectacular reviews thanks in part to the star power of Sir Ben Kingsley, Bill Murray, Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson, Idris Elba, and the late Garry Shandling. A big chunk of the praise has to go to the only live character, Mowgli, played brilliantly by newcomer Neel Sethi, who did all the hard work while the grownups sat around in comfort. Hopefully, child labor laws were in full effect.

The Hollywood Reporter reported that demographically, the movie attracted 49 percent of families, 43 percent adults, and eight percent teens. Also, 49 percent of moviegoers were male, which seemed to impress Dave Hollis, Disney Studios’ distribution chief.

“The use of the technology is creating a theatrical experience. As with Avatar and Life of Pi, you have to see it to believe it. We’re getting both families and general audience adults.”

Over the weekend, the film made a foreign total of $187.4 million, giving the movie a whopping $291 million globally thus far — the weekend isn’t over yet. China had the biggest foreign ticket sales for $50.3 million, and in India, it became the third highest release at $20.1 million. Only Furious 7 and Jurassic Park have beat the Jungle Book opening in India.

Meanwhile, The Huntsman: Winter’s War came in second overseas, taking $17.6 million this weekend — measly when you compare it to The Jungle Book’s numbers — giving it $43 million in global box office sales.

Unfortunately, Snow White and the Huntsman did much better than The Huntsman: Winters War in its opening weekend and is still expected to surpass the latter’s numbers. Kristen Stewart’s Twilight fans and a bigger budget helped the first film make $240 million. While there is still time to catch up, it still has to deal with the upcoming release of Captain America: Civil War, in addition to the continued success of The Jungle Book. It’s actually a little surprising that it’s not doing better with the star power of Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, and Emily Blunt. This storyline takes place before Snow White and revolves around the Huntsman, the evil Queen Ravena, and Freya, the sister Ravena betrays. The Winter’s War storyline seems a bit more cohesive that the previous Huntsman as well, so it will be interesting to see whether it can survive the absence of Stewart.

The Jungle Book beat Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($95 million), Fast Five ($86.2 million), and Fast and Furious ($71 million) for highest release in April, and helped Disney hit the $2 billion global box-office mark this weekend for the 15th consecutive year, according to Deadline.

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[Image via Disney]