While we still have a few weeks until the summer movie season, 2016 is proving that the right movies can put up big numbers early in the year. Deadpool has shattered records since its debut in February, while Zootopia and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice have earned big as well. That tradition continued last weekend with The Jungle Book, which nabbed $103.2 million in its debut. This weekend, the Disney adventure goes up against two newcomers, Universal's The Huntsman: Winter's War and Bleecker Street's Elvis & Nixon, neither of which stand a chance against Disney's Jungle Book, according to our estimates from studying Box Office Mojo.
The Jungle Book is being projected to drop a healthy 43% in its second frame in theaters, winning for the second week in a row with $59 million. The Huntsman: Winter's War is expected to debut in second place with $26.3 million, with the top five rounded out by Barbershop: The Next Cut ($11.2 million), Zootopia ($5 million) and The Boss ($4.9 million). While The Huntsman: Winter's War will most likely have a huge edge over Elvis & Nixon in theater count, the latter has a much bigger edge, among critics.
Elvis & Nixon currently has a 67% Fresh rating with the critics at Rotten Tomatoes, with The Huntsman: Winter's War sitting at a paltry 16% rating. The Huntsman: Winter's War is scheduled to open in more than 3,700 theaters this weekend, but a theater count estimate was not given for Elvis & Nixon, which, despite its critical acclaim, is projected to make $1.3 million in its opening weekend. Of course, it could fare much better, if it continues to get positive reviews and has a solid opening theater count, so we'll have to wait and see.
The Huntsman: Winter's War brings fans back to the fantastical world of Snow White and the Huntsman expands to reveal how the fates of The Huntsman Eric and Queen Ravenna are deeply and dangerously intertwined. Chris Hemsworth and Oscar winner Charlize Theron return to their roles in The Huntsman Winter's War, an epic action-adventure in which they are joined by Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain, as well as director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan. Producer Joe Roth (Maleficent, Alice in Wonderland) once again leads the team in a breathtaking new tale nested in the legendary saga.
Long before the evil Queen Ravenna (Theron) was thought vanquished by Snow White's blade, she watched silently as her sister, Freya (Blunt), suffered a heartbreaking betrayal and fled their kingdom. With Freya's ability to freeze any enemy, the young ice queen has spent decades in a remote wintry palace raising a legion of deadly huntsmen-including Eric (Hemsworth) and warrior Sara (Chastain)-only to find that her prized two defied her one demand: Forever harden your hearts to love. When Freya learns of her sister's demise, she summons her remaining soldiers to bring the Magic Mirror home to the only sorceress left who can harness its power. But once she discovers Ravenna can be resurrected from its golden depths, the wicked sisters threaten this enchanted land with twice the darkest force it's ever seen.
Now, their amassing army shall prove undefeatable...unless the banished huntsmen who broke their queen's cardinal rule can fight their way back to one another. When Freya learns of her sister's demise, she summons her remaining soldiers to bring the Magic Mirror home to the only sorceress left who can harness its power. But once she discovers Ravenna can be resurrected from its golden depths, the wicked sisters threaten this enchanted land with twice the darkest force it's ever seen. Now, their amassing army shall prove undefeatable...unless the banished huntsmen who broke their queen's cardinal rule can fight their way back to one another.
Elvis & Nixon tells the story about Elvis Presley visiting President Richard M. Nixon at the White House in December of 1970. The meeting was initiated by Presley, who wrote Nixon a six-page letter requesting a visit and suggesting that he be made a 'Federal Agent-at-Large' in the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. Presley brought with him family photos and a Colt 45 pistol as a personal gift to the President. Michael Shannon plays Elvis Presley, with Kevin Spacey playing Richard Nixon in this new drama based on an incredible true story. The supporting cast is rounded out by Alex Pettyfer, Johnny Knoxville, Colin Hanks, Evan Peters, Sky Ferreira, Tracy Letts, Tate Donovan and Ashley Benson.
Rounding out the top 10 will be Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($4.7 million), Criminal ($3.6 million), My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 ($2.4 million), Elvis & Nixon ($1.3 million) and Miracles from Heaven ($1.2 million). Also opening in limited release this weekend is Lionsgate's Compadres, Independent's Holidays, Roadside Attractions' A Hologram For the King, Sony Pictures Classics' The Meddler, Drafthouse's Men & Chicken, and IFC's Tale of Tales. It isn't known if any of these films will be expanding in the weeks that follow.
Looking ahead to next weekend, three new movies will hit theaters, Warner Bros.' Keanu, Open Road Films' Mother's Day and Focus Features' Ratchet & Clank. Magnolia's Viva, IFC's The Man Who Knew Infinity, Yari Film Group's Papa Hemingway in Cuba and The Family Fang will open in limited release. This will be the last frame until the summer movie season kicks off on May 6 with Marvel's highly-anticipated Captain America: Civil War, which is projected to earn between $175 million and $200 million. Take a look at our box office projections for the weekend of April 22, and check back Sunday for the estimates.
PREDICTED WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: