The Jungle Book rules at the box office

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Neel and Ben from The Jungle Book

Neel Sethi and Sir Ben Kingsley from The Jungle Book

Disney's 'The Jungle Book' has topped the box office in the US, banking $103.6 million in its first weekend.

'The Jungle Book' has opened in first place at the US box office, drawing $103.6 million in its first weekend.

Disney's new movie which retells Rudyard Kipling's famous story of a boy who is stranded in the jungle and rescued and raised by wolves before having to flee to escape the murderous intentions of the tiger Shere Khan (Idris Elba) has achieved the second biggest April opening in history just behind the $147.2 million banked by 'Furious 7' in 2015.

The film also earned $50.3 million in China, $14.2 million in Russia, and $13.7 million in the UK and set a new April record with viewings in IMAX format - which grossed $20.4 million globally over Saturday and Sunday.

The movie is directed by Jon Favreau and as well as Idris stars - Sir Ben Kingsley as black panther Bagheera, Bill Murray as free-spirited bear Baloo, Scarlett Johansson as Kaa the snake, Christopher Walken as orangutan King Louie and and Neel Sethi as Mowgli, the film's only live action character.

Speaking about his interpretation of the story - which Disney made into an animated children's musical in 1967 - Favreau admitted he had some "sleepless nights" as the release date approached.

He previously told BANG Showbiz: "The sleepless nights come at this time [of release] because you're realising the thing that has been an intimate experience for you and the people you're working with is now being shared with the world and millions of people are going to see it. You hope they appreciate the work that you did. I hope everybody enjoys it - and that whatever you're expecting I hope it's better than what you anticipate."

The Jungle Book

  • 4 stars
  • 2016
  • US
  • 106 min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Jon Favreau
  • Written by: Justin Marks (screenplay), Rudyard Kipling
  • Cast: Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, Christopher Walken
  • UK release: 15 April 2016

You know the story: boy (Sethi) left in woods, adopted by wolves (Nyong'o and Esposito), mentored by panther (Kingsley), befriended by bear (Murray), hunted by tiger (Elba, terrifying). Favreau and his team successfully retool the story with stunning CGI, and a script with heart, soul and spirit. A feelgood delight.

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