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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

 We’ve been watching this trend for several years now. As soon as ALICE IN WONDERLAND- a live-action take on the classic story made famous to popular culture by a Disney animated movie- was a huge hit everyone has wanted in on adapting old cartoons. ALICE came out in 2010 and, in subsequent years, we’ve seen new films based on Cinderella, Snow White, Maleficent, Jack & Jill, and Peter Pan. Some have hit; Some have flopped; But still, Hollywood studios are trying to cash in on this trend.

Last week’s THE JUNGLE BOOK had a somewhat unclear forecast. In the months and weeks leading up to it, no one knew if the film would be another ALICE (Opening Weekend: $116 million) or- God forbid- another PAN (Opening Weekend: $15 million). The word-of-mouth was good, and the visuals were amazing, but are audiences still interested in seeing classic cartoons get the live-action treatment? 

The answer ended up being a resounding Yes!

The film, directed by Jon Favreau, opened to $103 million domestically and, when international figures came in, had raked in a global cume of just under $300million. With near-perfect reviews and a great CinemaScore from fans, the next question became: Can it stand up to the competition it would face in its second weekend?

Enter: ANOTHER LIVE-ACTION TALE THAT COMES FROM A CLASSIC CARTOON!

THE HUNTSMAN: WINTER’S WAR is a sequel to SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN, Universal’s successful adaptation of the Snow White fairytale that put a more PG-13 twist on the fable. That film was a moderate hit for the studio, pulling in just shy of $400 million worldwide by the end of its run. 

So how will THE HUNTSMAN: WINTER’S WAR– which won’t feature Snow White this time- fare against THE JUNGLE BOOK? Not well.

According to Box Office Mojo, JUNGLE is set to repeat in the #1 slot with an estimated domestic haul of anywhere between $51 to $64 million. Meanwhile HUNTSMAN, which has been decimated by critics, is looking at a $25 to $35 million weekend- which is practically half what the first film made in its opening frame ($56 million).

Adding to the unfortunate taste that THE HUNTSMAN: WINTER’S TALE is likely to leave in the mouth of Universal, is the fact that it’s packed with star power. It’s lead is Marvel’s God of Thunder himself, Chris Hemsworth. He’s surrounded by Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt, and Jessica Chastain- three great actresses who’ve top-lined some of the best movies of the last few years. 

Despite all that, it’s looking to be fed like a lamb to JUNGLE BOOK‘s Shere Khan.

If we’re looking at the trend, it’s looking more and more like folks are interested in seeing their favorite cartoons come to life- but less so when it looks like they’re been altered too much. THE JUNGLE BOOK was promoted like the cartoon made real, and even includes some of the classic songs from the original film. THE HUNTSMAN looks like a weird cross between Disney’s FROZEN, a PG-13 GAME OF THRONES, and B-reel footage from THOR: THE DARK WORLD

Other new releases include THE MEDDLER, A HOLOGRAM FOR THE KING, and ELVIS & NIXON– films that star Susan Sarandon, Tom Hanks, Kevin Spacey, and Michael Shannon. 

What do you plan on seeing this weekend?

SOURCE: Box Office Mojo

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.