Although it isn’t the oldest or largest movie studio in the world, Disney has had no shortage of huge success stories as of late. The Mouse House, as it’s often affectionately known, has been steadily building its franchises over the years and in the process latching on to and resurrecting titles that have the proven ability to bring a steady stream of audiences into theaters around the world.
This past year alone – and let’s face it, the year's not even half over – Disney has been responsible for no fewer than three massive hits. The animated feature Zootopia easily charmed its way into audience’s hearts, Captain America: Civil War is still going strong and Jon Favreau’s live-action adaptation of the classic The Jungle Book has been a hit so far with moviegoers both young and old. While both Zootopia and Captain America have already cleared the $900 million mark for worldwide box office receipts, the latest Disney title to do the same is none other than The Jungle Book.
Variety is reporting that Disney confirmed the impressive achievement on Thursday, with the film tallying $349 million to date domestically and $549 million internationally. Beyond this feat, The Jungle Book also holds the title as the biggest Hollywood release ever in India.
The Jungle Book, which boasts a host of celebrity voices from Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson, Christopher Walken, and the late Garry Shandling, has only been in wide release since April. With first time child actor Neel Sethi leading the story as Mowgli, the man-cub who attempts to flee a suddenly hostile jungle setting, the initial box-office success of the film surprised even the studio analysts, who didn’t foresee it scoring the opening weekend take that it did. Since that time, The Jungle Book has been a runaway success story, despite the fact that it has yet to even open in the historically Disney-friendly international markets of South Korea and Japan.
It does look as though The Mouse House is a force that can’t very easily be stopped. Ever since 2005, when Bob Iger took over as CEO, Disney’s stock has more than quadrupled. With huge franchises like Star Wars, Frozen and Toy Story to their name as well as more immediate potential juggernauts Finding Dory and Moana on their way this summer/fall, it’s hard to imagine a point in the future – near or far – where Disney isn’t going to be seriously reaping the benefits of their investments.
Furthermore, Disney announced their plans for a sequel to The Jungle Book a mere four days before Favreau’s current hit was even released. This certainly belies the studio’s confidence in their ability to churn out hits. Nothing is a guarantee when it comes to the crazy world of Hollywood, but success from Disney seems to be the closest thing at the moment to one.
The Jungle Book is currently in theaters.