Weekend Forecast: ‘The Jungle Book’, ‘Barbershop: The Next Cut’ & ‘Criminal’

Coming off the recent success of Zootopia, Disney looks to continue its strong start to 2016 with the release of The Jungle Book this weekend.  Overall buzz for The Jungle Book has continued to grow as the film approaches release and early critical reviews have been exceptional.  The lead-up to the film is very much mirroring the recent lead-up to Zootopia.  BoxOffice expects a very strong launch from The Jungle Book this weekend.

Also entering the marketplace this weekend are Warner and MGM’s Barbershop: The Next Cut and Lionsgate and Summit’s CriminalBarbershop: The Next Cut looks set to get off to a solid second place start this weekend twelve years after the release of its predecessor, while Criminal appears headed for an underwhelming sixth place debut.

The Jungle Book

PROS:

– Disney’s recent live-action revisions of its animated classics have all been strong box office performers.  2010’s Alice in Wonderland exploded with a $116.1 million debut and went on to gross $334.2 million in total, 2014’s Maleficent  opened with $69.4 million and grossed $241.4 million in total, while last year’s Cinderella opened with $67.9 million and finished with $201.2 million.

– Early critical reviews for The Jungle Book have been terrific.  As of publishing, the film has a 92 percent Tomatometer at Rotten Tomatoes.  With audiences having been underwhelmed by Batman v Superman, the strong reviews for The Jungle Book could have an especially positive impact on the film’s performance.

– Online pre-sales for The Jungle Book at MovieTickets.com this week have been very strong.

– In its relatively limited overseas launch this past weekend; The Jungle Book was off to a strong start with $28.9 million from select markets that included India, Russia and Australia.

– In comparison to last year’s Cinderella, The Jungle Book will have the advantage of higher priced 3D admissions and will likely have more four-quadrant appeal.  With that in mind, an opening weekend performance more in line with the $79.1 million debut of 2013’s Oz: The Great and Powerful feels very reasonable.

CONS:

– While The Jungle Book is picking up the pace nicely on Twitter this week, the film hasn’t exploded on Twitter for a film of its size.  However, this could be due in part to the film potentially skewing heavily towards family audiences.

– There’s still a possibility that overall demand for The Jungle Book could be limited slightly by upcoming direct competition from Universal’s The Huntsman: Winter’s War next week and from fellow Disney release Captain America: Civil War in three weeks.

Barbershop: The Next Cut

PROS:

– The original Barbershop films were both strong performers.  2002’s Barbershop opened with $20.6 million and went on to gross $75.8 million in total, while 2004’s Barbershop 2: Back in Business opened with $24.2 million and finished its run with $65.1 million.  These grosses are even more impressive when taking into account ticket price inflation.

– Ice Cube has remained a strong box office draw in recent years with the success of the Ride Along films and last year’s NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton.

– After performing softly on Twitter for months, Barbershop: The Next Cut has picked up the pace in a big way on Twitter over the past week or so.

– Initial reviews for Barbershop: The Next Cut are trending positive.  The film currently has a Tomatometer of 75 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

CONS:

– While Barbershop: The Next Cut is performing strong on Twitter this week, the film’s overall performance on Twitter the past few months is still concerning.

– As was recently seen with both 2014’s Dumb and Dumber To and this year’s Zoolander 2, it isn’t easy for long-awaited comedy sequels to live up to the performances of their predecessors, especially when it comes to admissions.

– The potential break-out performance of The Jungle Book could have an impact on the rest of the marketplace in general this weekend.  In addition, overall demand for Barbershop: The Next Cut could be limited a bit by upcoming fellow Warner Bros. release Keanu.

Criminal

PROS:

– Kevin Costner has had very steady drawing power at the box office with his post-Man of Steel films.  Costner’s last five films have all opened in the range of $6 million to $15 million and have finished with total grosses in the range of $21 million to $51 million.

– There is a bit more room in the marketplace for Criminal among its target audience after the soft start by Hardcore Henry last weekend.

CONS:

– While it has picked up a bit this week, Criminal has been performing softly on Twitter in general, even with its generic title in mind.

– Early critical reviews for Criminal are poor.  The film currently has a Tomatometer of just 17 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

– As mentioned, the potential break-out performance of The Jungle Book could have an impact on the rest of the marketplace in general this weekend.

Top 10 Forecast

BoxOffice projects this weekend’s top ten films will total $149.8 million.  That would represent a healthy 37.9 percent increase over the $108.6 million top ten total of the same weekend last year.  That frame was led by the $29.2 million third weekend gross of Universal’s Furious 7, saw the $23.8 million second place debut of Sony’s Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 and respective $15.8 million and $4.6 million starts by Universal’s Unfriended and Disney’s Monkey Kingdom.

Check out our complete forecast in the table below.

Title Release Date Distributor Weekend Domestic Total Through Sunday, Apr 17
The Jungle Book (2016) Apr 15, 2016 Disney $81,000,000 $81,000,000
Barbershop: The Next Cut Apr 15, 2016 Warner Bros. / New Line $19,000,000 $19,000,000
The Boss Apr 8, 2016 Universal $13,000,000 $43,800,000
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Mar 25, 2016 Warner Bros. $9,800,000 $312,300,000
Zootopia Mar 4, 2016 Disney $9,000,000 $308,500,000
Criminal (2016) Apr 15, 2016 Lionsgate / Summit $6,500,000 $6,500,000
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 Mar 25, 2016 Universal $3,900,000 $52,800,000
Miracles from Heaven Mar 16, 2016 Sony / Columbia $2,900,000 $58,000,000
God’s Not Dead 2 Apr 1, 2016 Pure Flix $2,500,000 $17,900,000
Hardcore Henry Apr 8, 2016 STX Entertainment $2,200,000 $9,000,000
Eye in the Sky Mar 11, 2016 Bleecker Street $2,000,000 $13,700,000

Daniel Garris, Shawn Robbins and Alex Edghill contributed to this report.

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