the junglebook(Mowgli_Bagheera)

*As predicted (and expected), Disney’s “The Jungle Book” is looking to be the King of the Box office one of the highest April debuts ever. Look for a three day gross in the range of $85-88 million according to estimates.

Additionally, the film is getting solid scores from adults and youngsters. By the way, the animated “Zootopia,” another Disney family favorite is crossing the $300M mark and still in the Top Five after seven weeks in release, reports Deadline:

Looking at The Jungle Book CinemaScore breakdown: 97% of the audience gave the film an A or a B. The total positive response from PostTrak was also a very high 92%. It is 95% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s also a very high “definite recommend.” The film got A’s from both the under and over 25 crowd and A+ among those under 18 years of age and also for the over-50 audience. So word-of-mouth on this picture should carry it nicely through the weekend and give it very strong legs going into May.

It’s not only a four-quadrant picture but also has the benefit of a full Imax footprint (376 screens). It’s also the first U.S. released Dolby Vision 3D title (but that can only be seen in a few select theaters in New York and Chicago). It is also playing widely across RealD’s 28,000 3D-equipped locations across the globe where the picture has already unleashed in 36 markets (including China). It has grossed $57.1M as of this morning.

The other film of note opening this weekend is “Barbershop: The Next Cut,” which has also been well reviewed and garnered an A- CinemaScore, but is not going to bring in anything remotely near the territory on “Jungle Book.” We’re looking at a three day cume of between $20 and $22 million. The figure is kinda disappointing when one thinks about the legacy of the franchise and the star power in the current film.

There’s also the social media aspect to be considered as well. RelishMix (which measures social media activity) told Deadline that “Barbershop: The Next Cut” has one of the most socially active casts in recent memory because every cast member either has “Barbershop” as their masthead or tons of material from the film or premiere posted throughout their pages. It also got decent reviews, including a glowing one in the NY Times. It also received a high “definite recommend” (63%) from audience members polled by PostTrak. It also received four out of five stars.

Unfortunately none of that mattered. The audience just isn’t showing up, Deadline says the film is not even expected to open to the grosses of the second installment “Barbershop 2: Back In Business” which debuted at $24.2M back in 2004. That’s tough.

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