'The Boss Baby' demotes 'Beauty and the Beast' as 'Ghost in the Shell' flops

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To the surprise of just about everyone, Beauty and the Beast had its reign at the top of the box office end after just two weeks, courtesy of new, family-friendly movie champion The Boss Baby.

The animated feature, which casts Alec Baldwin as the voice of a tough-talking, business-suited baby, raked in $49 million for an impressive opening weekend that few box-office pundits predicted, overtaking two-week juggernaut Beauty and the Beast by a margin of less than $2 million. Experts suggested that the success of the DreamWorks Animation film was tied to Baldwin’s high profile, due to his widely praised (and viral) Saturday Night Live appearances. In addition, some smart marketing of the film had trailers screen before Beauty and the Beast that made direct appeals to that film’s audience.

Although it came in second this week, Beauty and the Beast didn’t suffer much of a drop-off from last week’s big numbers. Its $47.5 million weekend amounted to a negative change of just 47.4 percent from week to week, and the film — which received positive reviews from professional critics and audiences alike — will likely only need a week or two to cross $500 million in U.S. theaters and $1 billion worldwide. The same can’t be said for Boss Baby, which received negative reviews from the majority of critics and mediocre appraisal from audiences.

And the story was even worse for Ghost in the Shell, the live-action, sci-fi adventure that adapts Masamune Shirow’s acclaimed manga series.

# Title Weekend U.S. Total Worldwide Total
1. The Boss Baby $49M $49M $108M
2. Beauty and the Beast $47.5M $395.4M $876.2M
3. Ghost in the Shell $19M $19M $59.1M
4. Power Rangers $14.5M $65M $97.7M
5. Kong: Skull Island $8.8M $147.8M $477.3M
6. Logan $6.2M $211.8M $585.4M
7. Get Out $5.8M $156.8M $167.1M
8. Life $5.6M $22.3M $50.9M
9. Chips $4M $14.3M $18.2M
10. The Zookeeper’s Wife $3.3M $3.3M $3.5M

Paramount Pictures’ film, which stars Scarlett Johansson as a cyborg counter-terrorism agent in a cyberpunk metropolis, managed a meager $19 million premiere — well short of what was predicted by both the studio and box-office experts. The film was savaged by the majority of critics, and it didn’t fare much better with audiences, which were as satisfied with Ghost in the Shell as they were with the much-maligned Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice, according to audience-response aggregator Cinema Score.

The news was only slightly better for fourth-place film Power Rangers, which followed its respectable $40.3 million opening weekend with a $14.5 million second weekend, dropping more than 64 percent from week to week. Both Ghost in the Shell and Power Rangers cost more than $100 million to make, so the films are in a tough spot right now. However,  the strong opening for Power Rangers makes the race to cover its budget a little easier.

The only other new release to crack the weekend’s top ten films was the World War II drama The Zookeeper’s Wife, which earned $3.3 million and had a respectable debut for a specialty drama of this kind. It’s not the sort of movie intended to be a revenue stream, and it appears to be doing just fine with its limited release so far.

This week could very well feature a return to the top of the box office for Beauty and the Beast, but it will have to fight off yet another family-friendly release in the form of the animated sequel Smurfs: The Lost Village. Although it isn’t likely to make a splash in theaters, the quirky giant-monster movie Colossal starring Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis also arrives in theaters. It is joined by Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ripped-from-headlines drama Aftermath, and Werner Herzog’s limited-release historical drama with Nicole Kidman, Queen of the Desert. As far as ticket sales go, the Christian drama The Case For Christ could also crack the top ten if recent trends for faith-based films continue.