“The Huntsman: Winter’s War” grossed $20.1 million in its first weekend, coming in a distant second to “The Jungle Book,” which easily held the top spot at the box office with $60.8 million during its second weekend in theaters.
Universal’s prequel to 2012’s “Snow White and the Huntsman,” starring Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth, Emily Blunt, and Jessica Chastain, came in at the low end of expectations, grossing less than half than what the original starring Kristen Stewart made ($56.2 million). It played in 3,791 theaters.
With a production budget of $115 million, “Huntsman” is performing better overseas, where it has earned $80.2 million from 22 countries, bringing in a total of $100.3 million worldwide so far.
By contrast, Jon Favreau‘s live-action remake of Rudyard Kipling’s tales enjoyed the best second weekend of the year so far, beating “Deadpool”‘s $56.5 million in followup weekend grosses. It was a better-than-expected weekend (again) as the PG-rated family movie played in 4,028 theaters and dropped off by only 41 percent to gain a total of $191.5 million in North America to date.
“The Jungle Book” debuted with a massive $103.3 million in its first weekend, beating predictions by approximately $30 million. Returns were expected to drop off by 45 percent, which is in line with other Disney live-action remakes, including 2010’s “Alice in Wonderland” and 2015’s “Cinderella.”
Warner Bros.’ PG-13 comedy sequel “Barbershop: The Next Cut,” starring Ice Cube and Cedric the Entertainer, took third place with $10.830 million — bringing its cumulative gross to $36 million total after two weeks.
Walt Disney Animation Studio’s “Zootopia” continued to truck along, grossing $6.611 million in North America in its eighth weekend. The animated feature has earned $907.1 million worldwide, coming that much closer to the coveted billion-dollar mark.
Universal’s Melissa McCarthy comedy “The Boss” came in fifth with $6.075 million in its third weekend — reflecting a drop of only 39 percent. It has earned a total of $49.5 million since it opened three weeks ago.
At the specialty box office, A24’s buzzy horror movie “Green Room,” starring Patrick Stewart as a diabolical neo-Nazi club owner, grossed an estimated $215,000 as it expanded onto 30 screens a week ahead of its nationwide release.
The Weinstein Company’s ’80s musical “Sing Street,” written and directed by John Carney (“Begin Again”), took in $132,901 as it expanded to 25 theaters in its second weekend.
And Sony Classics’ “The Meddler,” starring Susan Sarandon as a nosy mom, brought in $15,067 from four theaters in its first weekend.
The low 18 percent Rotten Tomatoes score for “The Huntsman,” and the fact that Stewart didn’t reprise her role, surely dulled the film’s competitive edge. “The Jungle Book” persists with a 94 percent score — still the best-reviewed live-action remake of an animated film.
“The Huntsman” marks Cedric Nicolas-Troyan’s directorial debut, and was produced by Joe Roth. The film revolves around a war between the Evil Queen Ravenna (Theron) and the Ice Queen (Blunt). Only Sara (Chastain) and Eric (Hemsworth) have the power to fight the evil queen.