• Box Office

World Box Office, April 11-17

It’s a jungle out there and, this week, Disney is its king. The Jungle Book, the Mouse House’s new iteration of Rudyard Kipling’s stories about a boy raised by wolves, dominated the worldwide box office in no uncertain terms. Domestically, the CGI saga took $103. 6 million right out of the gate, quickly becoming the second biggest April opener of all time, only behind Furious 7 which amassed in $147.1 million last year. Add to this spectacular three-day loot the similarly glittering results of Book‘s international expansion from last week’s 15 markets: $131.1 million from 49 markets, for a total overseas cume of $ 187.4 million, putting its worldwide total at $290.97 million. The year is still in its second trimester, and Disney has, once again, surpassed the $2 billion box office mark, with an estimated take of $2,095 million. That’s 15 years in row that the studio has crossed this edge.

The Jon Favreau-directed family picture’s seamless blend of live action and CGI was beautifully rendered in 3-D – a major factor in the picture’s spectacular performance in key international markets, where 3-D was responsible for 63% of the overseas box office.  China, where Book opened straight at number 1, led the 3-D frenzy with the format taking 98% of the outstanding $50.3 million total.

Other significant international performances include Russia with $14.2 million, the UK with $13.7 million and Australia with $7.9 million. In India, where the story is set and where the movie had started its overseas track with a powerful opening last week, Book took a hit from a local offering, Shah Rukh Khan’s Fan. But even on the number 2 spot, the movie amassed $4.9 million.

Kipling’s cycle of stories about the wild boy Mowgli and his jungle family and friends is no stranger to box office success. In 1967 Disney’s jazz-fueled, animated version – the last animated film Walt Disney personally supervised- was the second-biggest grosser of its year, behind onlyThe Graduate. The message is clear: good stories never die, the just need to be well told.

Stateside, the other big story this week is MGM/New Line/ Warner Bros.’ Barbershop: The Next Cut. The new entry on the Ice Cube-starring franchise took a hit from Mowgli & friends, but gathered a solid $20.2 million domestically, opening in the second spot thanks to warm reviews, a 92 Fresh certificate from Rotten Tomatoes, and a savvy approach to social media.

Lionsgate’s Criminal limped to third place with an estimated $5.8 million stateside, in spite of Ryan Reynolds and Kevin Costner’s star appeal.

The big news of weeks past – The Boss and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – took tremendous falls this frame: Melissa McCarthy’s vehicle chugged along to the tune of a $12.6 million worldwide total, and DC’s superhero jam lost theaters and eyeballs for a grand worldwide total of $24.1 million.

Next week we’ll see how the Snow White origin saga The Hunstman: Winter’s War behaves after opening domestically and expanding internationally, and how audiences react to newcomers Elvis & Nixon, starring Michael Shannon and Kevin Spacey (as, yes, Elvis and Nixon) and the Tom Tykwer-directed A Hologram for the King, starring Tom Hanks.