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Monday Mixer: 'Men in Black' getting mashed up with '21 Jump Street'

Posted Monday, April 18, 2016 at 1:58 PM Central

by John Couture

It doesn't happen often, but when I actually go out on a limb and hit it big, I'm going to brag a little. Today's brag is all about the little film The Jungle Book, well, it's anything but little.

If you recall our predictions for the 2016 box office back in January, then you'll know why I'm thumping my chest this morning. My colleagues Tim and Dannette weren't as high on the film as I was and even I thought I was a bit out there at $425, but there was just something about the film that caught my attention.

Perhaps it's the fact that I have kids right in the key demographic, but whatever the reason, I just figured that it was poised to become the next live-action Disney overperformer. And true to form, the Jon Favreau film blew away even the most whimsical of predictions to deliver an opening weekend that is just behind Alice in Wonderland's opening in 2010.

It's an interesting time at the box office and things haven't even started to take off yet. Let's get caught up, shall we?

Box Office 411

As mentioned above, this weekend belonged to The Jungle Book. The live-action remake of the classic Disney cartoon notched the third $100+ million opening of the year with its estimated weekend box office of $103.6 million. For comparison's sake, through this week in the record-setting box office last year, only one film had opened to over $100 million.

I don't think The Jungle Book will live up to my inflated projection of $425 million from January, but it's pretty much guaranteed to end up with over $300 million and should end up with close to $325 million. Alice in Wonderland finished its run with $335 million, so it would be right on pace given its massive opening number.

For Jon Favreau, it's another feather in his family-film cap, which is quickly becoming quite full. He successfully brought the Iron Man franchise to life and had a huge hit with the holiday smash Elf, so Disney certainly knew that it left the cherished classic in good hands. The interesting question will be what he sets his sights on next. His directing schedule is wide open, but I'm sure Disney will attempt to get him to return for the eventual sequel to The Jungle Book.

In second place, the Ice Cube film Barbershop: The Next Cut turned in a nice $20 million weekend, however it was slightly less than the last film in the franchise earned back in 2004. Back then, Barbershop 2: Back In Business turned in a $24 million opening weekend en route to its $65 million total.

Back to the current installment, Barbershop: The Next Cut looks to finish right around the same $65 million of its predecessor. The original Barbershop opened with $20 million and finished with $75 million.

The other new wide release of the weekend Criminal didn't quite perform as well as the others by bringing in $5.8 million. The Kevin Costner film not only missed the projections, but audiences also didn't care for it either, so it will probably fall out of top 10 rather quickly. That said, it will struggle to reach $15 million.

In its second weekend, The Boss dropped massively to $10 million, which was still good enough for third place. Unfortunately, its gross is only up to $40 million and will struggle to reach my projection of $85 million.

Quick Hitters

  • Last week in Las Vegas was a little known event that is secretly one of my favorites. CinemaCon is an annual convention where studios wine and dine movie theater owners and present first looks at many of the biggest upcoming films. You can get a nice recap here.

    One of the more interesting nuggets to come out of the conference was the confirmation that MIB 23 is indeed a real thing. The 21 Jump Street/Men in Black mashup sequel will pair the bumbling cops from the former franchise with the alien defense team of the latter franchise.

    Consider me intrigued.

  • Thanks to Disney and their revival of the franchise, it seems that we can't make it through a single MM without some sort of Star Wars news. This week, the news comes in the form of the oft-delayed C-3PO comic that was supposed to come out at the same time as The Force Awakens.

    It's now available and explains Threepio's red arm, among other things. Star Wars Minute put together a little recap that hits the highlights, but honestly you should probably check out the comic yourself if have the time. The comic is deep and evokes many horror themes about isolation and predators that we just haven't ever seen in the Star Wars universe before.

  • Finally today, there's been a real onslaught of trailers in the last week and they should continue for the next month or so as studios take advantage of the big Summer releases to get their films coming out later this year in front of the biggest audiences of the year. This trailer for Angry Birds is promising and makes me think that they hit the right tone. I hope my daughter wants to see this one.

Veni Vidi Mixer!