The U.S. box office had a record-setting month in March, leaving a tough act to follow for April’s biggest releases. While Disney’s Beauty and the Beast continues to march toward a potential $1 billion worldwide gross, it faced fresh competition from another live-action remake of a classic animated film, Paramount’s Ghost in the Shell. Beauty and the Beast also got a new box office competitor for family audiences with DreamWorks Animation’s The Boss Baby.
Beauty and the Beast dominated its first two weeks at the box office, even while having to compete with powerhouse franchise vehicles like Power Rangers and Kong: Skull Island. While it is projected to have another strong haul in its third weekend in theaters, it is in danger of being dethroned as the weekend box office champion – thanks to a surprising early surge for The Boss Baby.
According to THR, The Boss Baby grossed an estimated $15.5 million on Friday, as well as $1.5 million on Thursday night. The film, distributed by 20th Century Fox, is on track to earn $50 million in its opening weekend, which is well above its reported projection of $30 million. The Boss Baby easily beat Ghost in the Shell, which took third place on Friday with $7.7 million and is projected for about $20 million for the weekend.
Beauty and the Beast held onto second place on Friday with an estimated $13 million and is projected to gross $48 million for the weekend, making a surprisingly close contest with The Boss Baby. Ghost in the Shell has no real threat to its third place spot, but is expected to fall short of the $43.9 million opening weekend for Scarlett Johansson’s last starring vehicle, 2014’s Lucy.
Whether or not The Boss Baby wins the box office in its opening weekend, it is ostensibly a big success for DreamWorks and Fox. The studios never disclosed the film’s production budget so it’s unclear just how successful its opening weekend will be, but they are surely thrilled that the film is on pace to shatter its projected opening. Ghost in the Shell, meanwhile, may be considered a relative disappointment to open in third place – but it still has time to make back its $110 million production budget.
Overall, The Boss Baby and Ghost in the Shell both received middling reviews from critics. It appears that only The Boss Baby will be able to overcome its lukewarm critical reception with a surprisingly big opening weekend. It appears that Ghost in the Shell will struggle to overcome its differences from the original and high-profile casting controversy. Meanwhile, Beauty and the Beast still has two days to roar past The Boss Baby and claim its third straight box office crown – but no matter who wins the weekend, there’s no denying The Boss Baby’s surprise early success.