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Jungle Book roars with $US103.6M debut

Associated Press Associated Press 17/04/2016 By Jake Coyle

The Jungle Book has opened with $US103.6 million ($A135.44 million) in North America, making it one of the biggest April debuts ever at the box office and continuing the studio's streak of unearthing live-action riches buried in its animated classics.

Jon Favreau's update of Walt Disney Co.'s 1967 animated version of Rudyard Kipling's book tells the tale of Mowgli with computer-generated imagery and big-screen bombast. A sizable 42 per cent of the film's domestic sales came from 3D and premium-format screens.

The Jungle Book is just the latest of Disney's string of live-action remakes of classic cartoons (Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent), most of which have fared well at the box office. More plundering of the Disney library is in the works: Cruella De Ville and Peter Pan are in development; Beauty and the Beast is scheduled for next March.

Made for about $US175 million, The Jungle Book was propelled by glowing reviews from critics. It ranks as the second biggest April opening ever, behind only Furious 7's $US147.2 million debut.

It also took in an estimated $US136.1 million overseas that includes $US20.1 million so far in India where it's the third-highest grossing Hollywood release after 10 days.

Opening in second place was Ice Cube's Barbershop: The Next Cut with $20.2 million. The fourth film in the comedy series (which included the 2005 spinoff Beauty Shop) failed to match the $US24.2 million debut of the previous Barber Shop 2: Back in Business in 2004, but it still supplied a solid opening for New Line and MGM.

The Kevin Costner action thriller Criminal, however, opened with a mere $US5.9 million for Lionsgate. It cost around $US30 million to make.

The Melissa McCarthy comedy The Boss, the No 1 film last weekend, dropped steeply. It slid 57 per cent with $US10.2 million in its second week, landing in third place.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at US and Canadian theatres, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included.

1. The Jungle Book, $US103.6 million ($US136.1 million international).

2. Barbershop: The Next Cut, $US20.2 million.

3. The Boss, $US10.2 million ($US2.5 million international).

4. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, $US9 million ($US15.1 million international).

5. Zootopia, $US8.2 million ($US10.8 million international).

A scene from The Jungle Book © AP A scene from The Jungle Book

6. Criminal, $US5.9 million ($US2 million international).

7. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, $US3.3 million. ($US1.3 million international).

8. Miracles From Heaven, $US1.9 million.

9. God's Not Dead 2, $US1.7 million.

10. Eye in the Sky, $US1.6 million ($US1.9 million international).

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