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Box Office: ‘The Huntsman: Winter’s War’ Can’t Match ‘Jungle Book’

“The Huntsman: Winter’s War” is having a bear of a time competing with reigning box office beast “Jungle Book,” which is looking at a healthy $56 million weekend as is continues to win the lion’s share of audience affection.

The fairy tale prequel to 2012’s “Snow White and the Huntsman,” should pull in $7 million to $8 million Friday, based on studio estimates, leading into an opening weekend total that could reach into the low $20 million range.

The new interpretation of the classic tale will be at best a pale reflection of “Jungle Book.” Disney’s reimagining of its 1967 animated classic, which opened last weekend, is expected to haul in $15 million Friday, to jump-start a $56 million weekend, according to estimates.

“Jungle Book,” based on the Rudyard Kipling’s story and combining a live-action child with computer-generated animal characters, has won over audiences globally, bringing in a total of $377 million through Thursday night, with a reasonable shot to reach the $1 billion plateau before its run is complete.

Universal Pictures had hoped for better for “The Huntsman,” which opens in 3,791 theaters over the weekend, whose predecessor hauled in more than $56 million on its opening weekend, on its way to a $396 million worldwide take. The studio looked to women to bolster the audience, given the star power of Charlize Theron — who appeared in the last “Huntsman” film —  and new-to-the-franchise stars Jessica Chastain and Emily Blunt.

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