After two straight weeks of putting in the work to see Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, audiences have hired a replacement box office champion in Fox’s The Boss Baby.
The animated family comedy dethrones the reigning champion, posting an estimated $49 million — a figure nearly $20 million higher than industry expectations initially projected — over its first three days in theaters.
Featuring the voices of Alec Baldwin, Lisa Kudrow, Jimmy Kimmel, Steve Buscemi, and Tobey Maguire, the film follows a suit-wearing infant who teams with his older brother to foil an evil CEO’s nefarious plot. Though it failed to drum up much excitement from movie critics, The Boss Baby notched an impressive A- grade on CinemaScore from polled moviegoers, who drove the film to a $12,987 per-screen average from 3,773 locations — the highest of the week.
According to the industry tracking analysts at comScore, The Boss Baby‘s Friday grosses also helped solidify March 2017’s record as the month’s best performer ever, tallying over $1 billion in ticket sales for the first time in history. Around $1.171 billion worth of audiences went to see movies on domestic screens between March 1-31 — an uptick of 23.4 percent from the previous record of $949.1 million posted in 2016.
Falling to No. 2 across its third week in wide release, Disney’s Bill Condon-directed adaptation of Beauty and the Beast adds a healthy estimated $47.5 million to its growing total, which sits at $395.5 million domestically to date. With a further $67 million pouring in from overseas audiences, Beauty and the Beast has made an astounding $876 million worldwide, cementing it as the year’s top-earning picture both in North America and internationally.
Debuting at No. 3 with a muted $19 million is Paramount’s take on the popular Japanese animation series Ghost in the Shell. The $110 million blockbuster features Scarlett Johannson as an anti-cyberterrorism cyborg. Playing at 3,440 sites, the film averaged a so-so $5,523 and a B-grade on CinemaScore. While its domestic numbers aren’t spectacular, films like this are designed to perform much better overseas, so it can’t be labeled a flop just yet; the female-fronted actioner Resident Evil: The Final Chapter made a paltry $26.8 million stateside in January, though its worldwide total has continued to climb past the $300 million mark well into spring. Ghost in the Shell currently occupies approximately 78 percent of its planned international footprint, so expect it to earn a great deal beyond the $40.1 million it earned from foreign countries this weekend.
Holdovers occupy the remaining slots in the top five, including Power Rangers — which dips a harsh 64 percent to $14.5 million over its second outing — and Kong: Skull Island. The King Kong franchise entry sheds 40 percent of its audience for a fourth weekend total of $8.8 million, bringing its North American haul to $147.8 million thus far.
Rounding out the top 10 is Focus’ Niki Caro-directed historical drama The Zookeeper’s Wife, starring two-time Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain as Antonina Zabinski, a Polish zookeeper who saved hundreds of people and animals during the German invasion in WWII-era Warsaw. Overperforming from Friday through Sunday, the film took an estimated $3.3 million from 541 theaters, averaging a healthy $6,191 per location. The decision has prompted Focus to roll out plans to expand the film to more theaters faster than initially anticipated.
“We’re very happy with our opening weekend, having a more limited title open in the top 10 is a great accomplishment!” Focus Features’ head of distribution, Lisa Bunnell, said of Zookeeper‘s performance via statement. “The film played extremely well with our core audience — exit polls were huge with over 90 percent of the audience rating the film in the top two boxes — as a result we’ve decided to expand faster than originally planned. Adult audiences are looking for films with a great story and strong performances and The Zookeeper’s Wife delivers.”
Per comScore, overall box office is up around 5 percent from the same frame last year. Check out the March 31 – April 2 weekend box office estimates below.
1 – The Boss Baby – $49 million
2 – Beauty and the Beast – $47.5 million
3 – Ghost in the Shell – $19 million
4 – Power Rangers – $14.5 million
5 – Kong: Skull Island – $8.8 million
6 – Logan – $6.2 million
7 – Get Out – $5.8 million
8 – Life – $5.6 million
9 – CHIPS – $4 million
10 – The Zookeeper’s Wife – $3.3 million