The Jungle Book Becomes the 2nd Largest April Opening of All Time

The Jungle Book (2016) - Mowgli (Neel Sethi) and Bagheera (Ben Kingsley)

This past weekend saw the opening of Disney's live-action take on The Jungle Book, a classic tale about a boy raised in the wilds of the jungle and his friendship with a laid-back bear. After being hailed as a success by critics over the past few weeks, it opened with little competition thanks to the weekend's other big debut film, Barbershop: The Next Cut, primarily because of The Jungle Book's iconic status and broader range of audience against the more mature third installment of the Barbershop franchise.

Though originally projected to make $81 million in its first weekend, the film has already taken in an estimated $103,567,000 domestically at the time of this writing. This puts The Jungle Book in second place for biggest April opening of all time, behind Furious 7 (with a $147 million domestic opening weekend) and just ahead of Captain America: Winter Soldier ($95 million).

The film has enjoyed an incredible 95% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and marks the third $100+ million opening in 2016. Combined with 49 international territories enjoying the film's opening weekend, the numbered have climbed to a whopping $290.9 million worldwide and becoming the second-best Western film opening in India with a $20.1 million opening weekend. Box Office Mojo estimates that 43% of the film's domestic opening came from 3D equipped theaters and 10% of the domestic weekend came from 376 IMAX screens.

The Jungle Book Super Bowl trailer and poster

The numbers follow last week's news of a sequel for the film in development, with Jon Favreau (Iron Man) rumored to return to the director's chair along with screenwriter Justin Marks (Unbroken). While no details on the story or returning cast are confirmed, it seems that Disney is poised and prepared to turn The Jungle Book into a long-running franchise, continuing to develop the formula that launched past franchise success stories like Pirates of the Caribbean. As far as live action adaptations go, The Jungle Book ranks only second behind Disney's Alice in Wonderland, which enjoyed a $116.1 million domestic opening weekend in 2010.

The Jungle Book seems to be one of Disney's most well-received live-action adaptations of its animated classics to date, and with its incredible cast (led by Bill Murray and featuring big names such as Lupita Nyong'o, Scarlett Johansson, Idris Elba, and Ben Kingsley) the animated film comes to life with a renewed sense of self, rich with lore from its origin novel. Where the story will go is up to Disney, but Rudyard Kipling's The Second Jungle Book -- a collection of stories and poems mostly centered on Mowgli -- remains un-mined on film today.

The Jungle Book runs 105 minutes and is Rated PG for some sequences of scary action and peril. Now playing in theaters.

Source: Box Office Mojo

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