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Weekend Box Office Report: The ‘Boss Baby’ Takes Care of Business

The Boss Baby
DreamWorks Animation

In a parallel universe where Paramount Pictures doesn’t alienate its fanbase, we might be talking about Ghost in the Shell as the big winner of this weekend and the de facto start of a new wave of Japanese Hollywood adaptations. Instead, DreamWorks Animation and The Boss Baby blew up the box office, no doubt delighting a handful of DreamWorks executives who watched the Ghost in the Shell controversy unfold with glasses of champagne in hand. After all, nobody’s going to boycott a movie about a baby who wears a suit. Here are the estimated grosses as of Sunday afternoon:

Film Weekend Per Screen
1 The Boss Baby $49,000,000 $12,987 $49,000,000
2 Beauty and the Beast $47,543,000 (-47.4%) $11,293 $395,459,842
3 Ghost in the Shell $19,000,000 $5,523 $19,000,000
4 Power Rangers $14,500,000 (-64.0%) $3,926 $65,062,170
5 Kong: Skull Island $8,800,000 (-40.0%) $2,802 $147,848,204
6 Logan $6,200,000 (-40.0%) $2,669 $211,867,637
7 Get Out $5,813,715 (-34.3%) $3,153 $156,887,675
8 Life $5,625,000 (-55.0%) $1,788 $22,369,239
9 CHiPS $4,055,000 (-47.5%) $1,646 $14,367,366
10 The Zookeeper’s Wife $3,349,475 $6,191 $3,349,475

Let’s start with the new releases. In first place this week with $49 million is DreamWorks Animation’s The Boss Baby, a pretty solid opening when factoring in the track record of the studio. No DreamWorks Animation feature that opened at $49 million or higher has failed to break $170 million at the domestic box office; if we build in a little healthy skepticism and lower the threshold to $40 million, we’re still looking at a low of $143 million with Kung Fu Panda 3. The upside? How to Train Your Dragon, which opened with $43 million in 2010 before going on to break $217 during its theatrical run. There’s a lot of variance here, but success itself is certainly guaranteed.

Things are far, far less rosy for Ghost in the Shell, which opened in third to a pretty bleak $19 million despite a $110 million budget and aggressive marketing. There will be any number of box office autopsies come Monday on what exactly went wrong with the film; Paramount will probably decide that Ghost in the Shell is proof that American audiences aren’t interested in Japanese culture, but what’s far more likely is that the whitewashing controversy soured audiences on a film they weren’t that excited to see to begin with. Either way, despite rumors of bringing Jordan Peele on board to direct, don’t expect to see Warner Bros. move forward with that Akira movie anytime soon.

The last new release to break the Top 10 is The Zookeeper’s Wife in tenth place with $3.3 million, a tremendous outing for a movie that barely opened on 540 screens (technically designating it as a limited release). To put it another way: on a per-theater basis, The Zookeeper’s Wife made more than Ghost in the Shell and almost as much as the seventh, eighth, and ninth-place movies on the Top 10 combined. Expect to see Focus slowly expand the number of theaters The Zookeeper’s Wife is showing in. It could be a sleeper hit as adult counter-programming against a string of blockbuster summer movies.

Meanwhile, the majority of the Top 10 was a case of the rich getting richer. Beauty and the Beast finished just behind The Boss Baby in second place this weekend with $47.5 million; it should cross $400 million at the domestic box office at some point in the next few days and break one billion dollars (!) worldwide in the next two weeks. Power Rangers featured a pretty hefty drop from $40 million to $14 million in its second week; that’s still good enough for fourth place on this week’s Top 10, but not exactly the gentle decline that Lionsgate was looking for. Kong: Skull Island finished in fifth place with $8.8 million; it almost certainly won’t break the 2014 Godzilla’s domestic box office numbers but has already surpassed that film internationally with $328 million.

Logan keeps chugging right along at $6.2 million in sixth place; it should pass the second X-Men movie in the next fews days at $214 million domestically, but probably doesn’t have enough momentum to crack X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men: Days of Future Past at the $230 million mark. Get Out grossed $5.8 million in seventh place, breaking $150 domestically this week despite a minuscule $5 million budget. Life couldn’t capitalize on its buzzy ending in its second weekend, limping to a $5.6 million gross in eight place. And finally, CHiPS is the surprising hanger-on of the week, earning $4 million in ninth place. A weak lineup of April 7 releases means that one of these two films will probably get a curtain call on the Top 10, but that’s about it.

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