Jungle Book Sees Huge Success in India

Jungle Book Jumps to $7.6 Million Takings in India
Photo Credit: Slash Film

The Jungle Book is poised for release in the U.S., but has just opened to a fantastic $7.6 million and to great critical acclaim this weekend in India. This makes it India’s second highest opening for a production after Airlift.

It has received a positive reception from Indian publications including The Times of India, with particular praise being noted for its visual effects, faithfulness to the original animated version and the vocal performances of the cast.

The CGI/live action version of the classic Rudyard Kipling tale recreates the story of ‘man-cub’ Mowgli’s adventures in the jungle as he is raised with the assistance of wolves and other animals. It is a coming of age story where the viewer can really empathize with Mowgli.

The fantasy adventure movie is voiced by a celebrity cast including Bill Murray as Baloo the bear and Ben Kingsley as Bagheera the panther. Although the 1967 version was voiced by an all-male cast, this version has moved with the times, with the voice of Kaa the snake being provided by Scarlett Johansson.

Neel Sethi, who is a 12-year-old boy of Indian-American origin, plays the main role of Mowgli. This is his big screen debut and he stars in almost every scene. He has been described by the movie’s director, Jon Favreau, as having “something very special” and being “very authentic to Mowgli”. He was selected after his audition from 2,000 possible global candidates.

Jon Favreau made his directorial debut back in 2001 with the screenplay Made. He has also directed movies including Elf and Iron Man, and has appeared in movies such as Batman Forever, and TV series such as Friends.

Jon wants his version of the movie to be a reminder to people of how much they loved the 1967 animated version.

The Jungle Book hits our theaters on April 15th.