Box office preview: Can Ghost in the Shell bust Beauty and the Beast?
Beauty and the Beast should find itself sitting pretty atop the North American chart for the third frame in a row when the weekend ahead draws to a close, though two prominent newcomers — the animated family flick The Boss Baby and Scarlett Johansson’s big-budget blockbuster Ghost in the Shell — might give Disney’s reimagining of a beloved classic a run for its money — literally.
Check out EW’s March 31- April 2 box office predictions below.
1 – Beauty and the Beast – $46 million
The reigning box office champion marks yet another worldwide win for Disney, having bounded past the $750 million mark in a mere 13 days, with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. After posting an impressive $90 million last week, the $160 million production should again take a dip in the 40-50 percent range, meaning a third weekend haul of around $45-55 million. Regardless of its performance in the days ahead, Beauty and the Beast will push past $400 million by next week.
2 – The Boss Baby – $31 million
The borderline unseen Rock Dog aside, a major animated title hasn’t bowed on North American screens since The LEGO Batman Movie stormed theaters in early February. Fox’s The Boss Baby, which premieres Friday at 3,774 sites, should adequately quench the thirst of audiences hungry for a family-friendly romp, but don’t expect numbers in line with recent animated hits like Sing ($269.8 million) or The Secret Life of Pets ($368.4 million). The Boss Baby will be in good shape if it crosses into $25-30 million territory.
3 – Ghost in the Shell – $30 million
Scarlett Johansson takes aim at the domestic chart this weekend with yet another high-profile actioner: Rupert Sanders’ live action adaptation of Masamune Shirow’s manga series of the same name. While the film has been a prominent fixture in the press throughout the run-up to its release, the buzz hasn’t all been positive; accusations of “whitewashing” a Japanese franchise (Johansson’s character is based on a fictional cyborg created by the country’s law enforcement) have plagued the film for months, though audiences from the region have indicated the Hollywood actress’ casting fits in with the themes of the original cartoon.
Controversy aside, Johansson has proven her ability to drive ticket sales for major action vehicles in the past. After assisting the cast of multiple films set in the Marvel universe, the 32-year-old fronted the sci-fi flick Lucy to $126.7 million in North America alone ($463.4 million worldwide) in 2014. While Ghost in the Shell could reach such heights, industry expectations currently peg the film for a debut in the $20-30 million range from approximately 3,400 locations, which likely puts the $110 million production’s final figure between $70 and $90 million (with a heavy overseas turnout expected to carry its total grosses well past what it cost to make).
4 – Power Rangers – $18 million
After slightly exceeding expectations with an opening north of $40 million last weekend, Power Rangers is poised for a steep decline across its sophomore run at the box office, as most tentpole actioners — especially those based on a pre-established franchise — tend to be front-loaded as they shed 40-60 percent from week to week. Power Rangers will be no exception, with Ghost in the Shell snatching a larger-than-usual portion of potential ticket buyers.
5 – Kong: Skull Island – $7.5 million
Once deafening as it opened to $61 million earlier this year, Kong‘s roar has now dulled as it descends the top five. The expensive $185 million picture has performed well at theaters worldwide, however, tallying $138 million in North America and an additional $258.9 million from international territories for a $396.8 million (and counting) global total.
Elsewhere, Jessica Chastain’s WWII-era drama The Zookeeper’s Wife, based on Diane Ackerman’s nonfiction book about a Polish couple who saved around 300 Jewish people by sheltering them in the Warsaw Zoo during the German invasion, opens at 474 theaters and should attract a solid portion of the mature set for a decent three-day finish.