Box office preview: Beauty and the Beast to topple newcomers
Multiplexes are serving some serious ’90s nostalgia this weekend, as the domestic chart is expected to be ruled by two titles adapted from two of the decade’s foremost pop cultural hits.
Beauty and the Beast, a contemporary reimagining of the 1991 animated classic, wages a battle against the latest Power Rangers movie, inspired by the 1993 television series, as a slew of fellow newcomers (sci-fi thriller Life, adult comedy CHiPs, basketball drama Slamma Jamma) gun for spaces among the top 10 this weekend.
Check out EW’s March 24-26 box office predictions below.
1. Beauty and the Beast – $95 million
After roaring to a record-breaking $174 million last weekend, Bill Condon’s live-action Beauty and the Beast remake faces little competition across its sophomore frame and will easily claim the box office throne yet again. While big-budget tentpoles typically shed between 50 and 60 percent of their opening number, broadly appealing titles from Disney tend to buck that trend; as the buzziest title on the market, Beauty and the Beast will likely fall in line with the 40 percent-50 percent drops of its studio sisters, like 2014’s Maleficent (50.6 percent), 2015’s Cinderella (48.5 percent), and both Finding Dory (46 percent) and The Jungle Book (40.4 percent) from last year.
2. Power Rangers – $36.5 million
Bowing at 3,693 sites this Friday, the Lionsgate/Temple Hill actioner Power Rangers is looking to draw in both fans of the original Fox Kids action series and new fans alike after netting a fresh, diverse young cast (recording artist Becky G, British actress Naomi Scott, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl star RJ Cyler) to take on the roles of teenage superheroes in the show’s contemporary reboot. Thanks to an aggressive marketing campaign and pre-established fan nostalgia likely fueling strong word-of-mouth across the film’s theatrical run, expect Power Rangers to debut above $35 million.
3. Life – $17 million
At $58 million, the Jake Gyllenhaal/Ryan Reynolds sci-fi thriller Life boasts a sizable budget for its modest industry expectations, which currently hover around $15 million-$20 million. Given the film’s intriguing premise, effective marketing, positive reception (it received warm reviews at its SXSW premiere earlier in March) and bankable star power, Life should perform well with U.S. audiences and in international markets atop long legs in the weeks ahead. With formidable competition crowding theaters this weekend, look for Life to make a soft (but promising in context, nonetheless) $17 million this weekend.
4. Kong: Skull Island – $14 million
How the mighty have fallen. Two weeks after it stormed North American screens to the tune of $61 million, Legendary and Warner Bros.’ latest entry in the decades-old King Kong franchise has cooled significantly and will dip even further as new titles (Power Rangers, Life) clamor for similar demographics. Expect Kong to tally another $12 million-$15 million through Sunday.
5. Logan – $8.5 million
Heading into its fourth week in wide release, any domestic grosses the final Wolverine spin-off makes this weekend is icing on a well-dressed cake. The film has made a whopping $525.3 million worldwide, making it one of the top-earning films among the X-Men series. As Power Rangers and Life open, expect Logan to drop below $10 million this weekend.
Elsewhere, the big screen adaptation of CHiPS, starring Dax Shepard and Michael Peña, drives into approximately 2,700 locations, poised to earn roughly $8 million-$10 million over its debut weekend. Written and directed by Shepard, the film also boasts supporting performances from Maya Rudolph, Adam Brody, Justin Chatwin, Kristen Bell, and Vincent D’Onofrio.
The Woody Harrelson/Laura Dern comedy Wilson, from The Skeleton Twins director Craig Johnson, opens at approximately 250 theaters Friday, and should post a decent number across its first three days.
Additionally, the sports drama Slamma Jamma — about a former basketball star attempting to reclaim his former glory after he’s wrongfully accused of a crime — could crack the top 10 as it enters wide release in the coming days.