‘The Huntsman: Winter’s War’ Can’t Topple ‘The Jungle Book’


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Chris Hemsworth, left, and Jessica Chastain in a scene from “Huntsman: Winter’s War.”

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Giles Keyte/Universal Pictures, via Associated Press

Leave the fairy tales to Disney.

That was one takeaway from the weekend box office, which saw Universal’s Snow White prequel “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” melt under terrible reviews and snarky social media chatter. “Winter’s War,” which also seemed to borrow from “Frozen,” took in a dismal $20.1 million at North American cinemas, or 64 percent less than its series predecessor, “Snow White and the Huntsman,” collected in 2012.

That left “Winter’s War,” which cost Universal and a Chinese financing partner at least $115 million to make, as a distant second to Disney’s “Jungle Book” remake, which took in about $60.8 million in its second weekend, for new domestic total of $191.5 million. “The Jungle Book” has taken in an additional $337 million overseas.

“Winter’s War” marked yet another box office misfire for Chris Hemsworth, who played the title role. The movie also starred Charlize Theron, Jessica Chastain and Emily Blunt. Universal on Sunday said it was “proud to have provided a film into the marketplace featuring three strong female lead roles.”

Also of note: Two independent films that have attracted critical raves, the thriller “Green Room” (A24) and the musical drama “Sing Street” (the Weinstein Company), played in limited release ahead of broader rollout next weekend. “Green Room” collected $215,000 from 30 theaters, according to comScore, which compiles box office data; “Sing Street” had $132,901 from 25 locations.

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