LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) – “The Jungle Book” dominated the weekend box office, grossing a massive $103.6 million, and extending the Walt Disney Company’s success in making live action versions of its classic animated features.That ranks as the second biggest April opening in history, behind only “Furious 7’s” $147.2 million launch. With “Cinderella,” “Alice in Wonderland,” “Maleficent,” and now “The Jungle Book,” this strategy of revitalizing fairy tales has become a virtual brand onto itself. One that nearly rivals Disney’s Marvel, Pixar, and LucasFilm projects. The studio will continue to mine its library; “Beauty and the Beast” with Emma Watson hits theaters on March 17, 2017, and new versions of “Cruella De Ville” and “Peter Pan” are in the works.Critics loved “The Jungle Book” handing it a 95% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Word-of-mouth for the film also looks strong. The picture received an A CinemaScore, which could set it up for a healthy run in the days and weeks ahead. Families made up 49% if the opening weekend audience.
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