“I thought million was the number, but be prepared for the social media onslaught of positivity for the film to pump up the grosses particularly on Saturday when families will come out in droves,” he said.
Should the forecast hold, “The Jungle Book” will notch the third-highest opening weekend of 2016 after “Batman v Superman” at $166 million and “Deadpool” at $132.4 million.
The live action-CG hybrid, directed by Jon Favreau, has been embraced by critics and carries a 94% Rotten Tomatoes score.
“The Jungle Book” also has a shot at becoming the third-best April launch if it can top “Fast Five,” which opened in 2011 with $86.2 million.
“Fast 7” set the April mark last year with $147.1 million and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is second with $95 million.
“The Jungle Book” is the latest in Disney’s live-action re-imagining of classic stories.
“Cinderella” took in .9 million on its debut weekend last year en route to a 1.2 million domestic total and a 2.7 million global cume.“Maleficent” opened two years ago with .4 million on its way to a 1.4 million domestic total and 8.5 million worldwide.The .2 million preview number for “The Jungle Book” matched that of “Maleficent” and was ahead of “Cinderella,” “Oz” and “Zootopia.” Online ticketing service Fandango said Friday that “The Jungle Book” is outpacing “Cinderella,” “Maleficent” and “Oz: the Great and Powerful” in its advance ticket sales.Disney’s estimate for “The Jungle Book” earlier this week was around million.The movie is based on the Rudyard Kipling story about Mowgli, an abandoned human boy who becomes friends with jungle animals after being raised by wolves.Favreau’s film includes Bill Murray voicing Baloo the bear, Ben Kingsley as Bagheera the panther, Scarlett Johansson as Kaa the snake and Lupita Nyong’o as the mother wolf Raksha. Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with Com Score, said the movie is receiving strong word-of-mouth among customers.