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Box Office: ‘Jungle Book’ to Trounce ‘Keanu,’ ‘Mother’s Day’

Mother's Day
Courtesy of Open Road

Only Disney can stop Disney.

“The Jungle Book” will rule over the box office for a third consecutive weekend, racking up roughly $40 million. The studio’s live-action adaptation of the Rudyard Kipling’s tales of a feral child raised among wolves, panthers and bears has been embraced by audiences and critics alike, but its reign is coming to an end. “Captain America: Civil War” storms theaters on May 6, when it is expected to rack up nearly $200 million.

“It’s going to be a relatively quiet weekend before the storm,” notes Shawn Robbins, an analyst with BoxOffice.com.

That’s not stopping three new releases from trying to make their presence felt before the Avengers are torn asunder, sweeping aside everything in their path. Of these, “Keanu,” the new low-budget comedy from Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key, may have the most upside. The stars of the Comedy Central show “Key & Peele” have a strong following, and if word-of-mouth is healthy, the film could surprise. Reviews have been mostly positive, with “Keanu” enjoying a 76% “fresh” rating on critics aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

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“Keanu” stands to earn $10 million to $12 million when it opens on 2,600 screens. Even if the film about an adorable kitten who is cat-napped fails to break out in a bigger way, it could still turn a profit for Warner Bros. and New Line. The studios spent a mere $15 million to make the picture.

Open Road’s “Mother’s Day,” with a cast that includes Jennifer Aniston, Julia Roberts and Jason Sudeikis, is also expected to reel in roughly $12 million when it bows across 3,000 screens. The romantic comedy finds director Garry Marshall mining the intersecting stars around the holidays formula that paid off with “Valentine’s Day” and, to a lesser extent, “New Year’s Eve.” Think of it as “Short Cuts” with more “meet cute” moments. The film has a $25 million budget, but Open Road acquired it, instead of producing the picture, so its financial exposure is more limited.

That leaves Focus Features’ “Ratchet and Clank” punching, ever so slightly, up. The big screen version of the video game franchise about the ongoing adventures of a fugitive robot and a cat-like alien is likely to gross $8 million when it debuts at 2,800 domestic locations.

But aside from the saga of Mowgli, few films will be minting money. The box office record books can rest untouched … at least for one more weekend.