Monday Box-Office Report: Watch the jungle bring you to your knees

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Here’s something I have learned from a bit of chart-watching: once you lose that number one spot, it ain’t coming back. Batman vs Superman can say goodbye to the country club crowd, as not one but two movies came cruising in to dominate the top.

The Jungle Book tore through the scene like loggers on crystal meth, taking the top spot with a decisive $103 million opening. That’s the third $100 million opener this year (after Batman vs Superman and Deadpool). Internationally it also crushed all before it: with the help of China’s $50 million, The Jungle Book is already close to $300 million overall.

Some might take this moment to say that the cinema is not dying, despite such desperate ideas as allowing people to use their phones in theatres. I would disagree. Instead we are routinely seeing massive films take all the oxygen out of the room, with one or two lower-budget releases grabbing a little of the action. Everything else dies a slow death.

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Don’t believe me? Observe the gap between The Jungle Book and the number two movie, Barbershop: The Next Cut. It has been tracking well and the reviews are very kind, earning it a second-spot debut. But that position came at the paltry price of $20.2 million. I’m guessing this movie didn’t cost much more than that, so it is a hit nonetheless. But we can’t ignore that the #2 film made only a fifth of the #1 on opening weekend.

At third, then, is last week’s #1, The Boss. It crashed, losing 50 percent of its revenues made last week and drawing a meagre $10 million. Think that sucks? Batman vs. Superman collapsed a further 61 percent in earnings, taking in just over $9 million. That’s the trend: all the non-newcomers dropped at least 40 percent in earnings. Jungle Book pretty much took it all.

Zootopia felt the pain with a 42 percent drop, but it has reason to celebrate: it is only the tenth animated film ever to make more than $300 million at the US box office. A nod also to Eye in the Sky, as the lukewarm military thriller managed to retain its 10th spot from last week.

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The rest aren’t worth lamenting, except to note that Criminal was the third debut this week. Despite a great cast, Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool-excepted talent to find cinematic bombs is clearly still intact. Only this time he should have known better: don’t get involved in anything starring Kevin Costner. I still haven’t forgiven him or Luc Besson for 3 Days To Kill. Criminal arrived at an utterly forgettable 6th.

  • 01. The Jungle Book (2016) – $103,5 million (NE)
  • 02. Barbershop: The Next Cut – $20,2 million (NE)
  • 03. The Boss – $10,1 million (LW: 1)
  • 04. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – $9 million (LW: 2)
  • 05. Zootopia – $8,2 million (LW: 3)
  • 06. Criminal (2016) – $5,8 million (NE)
  • 07. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 – $3,2 million (LW: 4)
  • 08. Miracles from Heaven – $1,9 million (LW: 6)
  • 09. God’s Not Dead 2 – $1,7 million (LW: 7)
  • 10. Eye in the Sky – $1,6 million (LW: 10)

Three films are sent out to pasture, starting with Hardcore Henry. Despite the indoctrination of too many video games, audiences did not respond to the movie’s first person gimmick and it fell six places, from 5th to 11th. Allegiant is also finally put out of its misery, dropping from 8th to 12th. But they aren’t all losers: 10 Cloverfield Lane exits the top 10, but with a lot of cash stuffed into the pockets of this dark horse.

(LW = Last Week, NE = New Entry)

Last Updated: April 18, 2016

James

A total movie glutton, nothing is too bad or too obscure to watch, unless it's something like The Human Centipede. If you enjoyed that, there is something wrong with you. But bless you anyway - even video nasties need love...

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