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Many people were skeptical when Disney announced that were making a live action adaptation of their classic 1967 animated film The Jungle Book. It was unclear how exactly they could even pull it off. There’s only one human character, Mogli, and his interactions are entirely with animal characters. Not to mention that the original was pretty lazy when it came to its own animation. Then Disney announced that all the environments and animals would be created with CGI. It was unclear at the time how Disney would pull this off without the movie looking fake or hokey. Would the effects sell that Mogli is actually in a jungle and not in some warehouse in Los Angeles? Would audiences even respond to the movie?
The answer to both of those questions is a very loud and powerful yes.
The Jungle Book opened this weekend and Box Office Mojo has the box office results. In three days the film has made an estimate of over 100 million dollars domestically. The film had a budget of 175 million, which it will more than likely earn back in the coming weeks. The movie about a child pretending to be friends with a talking bear is officially a hit.
Talk about the little engine that could. Not just a hit in the box office, the film is also getting very positive reviews from critics. The Jungle Book, directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man 3, Swingers), is being praised for its spot on casting and incredible effects. Seriously, this is ground breaking special effects. It’s one thing to create realistic animals, but it’s the jungle itself that everyone will remember years from now. The film is gorgeous and with the way Mogli interacts with his environment, you really forget that this was all created on someone’s computer.
All of this success really makes you wonder about that other Jungle Book movie that Andy Serkis is making. Formerly titled Jungle Book: Origins, the film has already been delayed twice. It was originally supposed to release this year, but will now arrive in theaters in 2018. This will give the film time to work on its own special effects, but it’s probably a move to help it escape the massive shadow being cast by Disney’s version.
With the success of the film, Disney has already announced that a sequel is in development. The Jungle Book is only the latest in a line of live action adaptations of classic Disney Films. It follows Maleficent and Cinderella, with the success of these films inspiring at least a dozen more adaptations. A live action Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson as Belle is arriving in 2017 while Disney has announced the development of Mulan, Dumbo, a Tinkerbell film, Pinocchio, The Little Mermaid, Winnie the Pooh, Peter Pan, and a prequel to Aladdin starring the Genie.
The Jungle Book, directed by Jon Favreau and written by Justin Marks, stars Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Christopher Walken, Lupita Nyong’o and Neel Sethi as Mogli and is now open in theaters.