We close out March and welcome April as two new wide release films debut. None of them will challenge Beauty and the Beast for the top spot, though.
Weekend Forecast for March 31-April 1, 2017
By Kim Hollis
March 31, 2017
The strongest performer of the three is likely to be… sigh… The Boss Baby, a DreamWorks CGI animated film that features Alec Baldwin as some sort of… sigh… baby who is also a boss. Apparently, there is a war between babies and puppies (no, really) and the Boss Baby is a secret agent in the conflict. If you’ve already stopped reading, I can’t blame you. This is a movie that exists, for some reason and people are going to go see it (and be sorry they did so afterward).
DreamWorks is partnered with 20th Century Fox for this release, and the distributor has certainly done a fine job of promoting it, even if I can’t imagine that a single person who has seen the marketing would willingly go see this film. Still, it’s a kid movie with Alec Baldwin, who is riding high on his Donald Trump impression on Saturday Night Live. It’s not going to be a big hit, but should do well enough at $34 million.
Next up is the anime adaptation that fanboys have long desired. Ghost in the Shell is a live-action adaptation of the manga that became the classic 1995 animated film directed by Mamoru Oshii. The film is not without some controversy, as many people have been offended by the casting of Scarlett Johansson in a role that they believe should have been given to someone of Asian descent. Still, she’s a legitimate star, the previews have been intriguing, and the discord over the whitewashing of the film is not likely widely known.
Potential viewers seem to have mixed emotions about this project. There are some fans who are excited to see a beloved anime and manga series turned into a live-action feast for the eyes. However, others view that original film as sacred, with any attempt at bringing it to the big screen viewed as suspect. If it weren’t for Johansson, Ghost in the Shell wouldn’t even be much of a blip on the radar. As it stands, I foresee several curious fans checking out Ghost in the Shell, to the tune of $22 million.
Thus, the door is left wide open for the return of Beauty and the Beast, already the biggest movie of the year both domestically and worldwide after just two full weeks in theaters. Last weekend was a good one for the film, as it showed one of the best second weekend holds ever for a film of that scale as it declined just 48 percent. That number should even improve slightly this weekend, as we’re still in spring break season and we’re now settling in for what is likely to be a long and impressive run, including future sing-a-long shows and other special events.
I’d look for Beauty and the Beast to turn in a third weekend total of $50 million, which will bump it up right against the $400 million mark domestically after only three weekends. It currently has $750 million worldwide, and should have no difficulty achieving the $1 billion mark. Disney has become THE powerhouse distributor for films.
The Zookeeper’s Wife, featuring Jessica Chastain, opens in just under 500 venues. With only middling reviews, I don’t expect it to have much impact. The weekend total may manage to hit the $1 million mark.
For remaining holdovers, the biggest impacts will come from Power Rangers, which should earn somewhere in the neighborhood of $20 million, Kong: Skull Island, which is looking at $8 million, and Life and Logan, which will probably both come in at about $6 million.