Boss Dumps Beauty From Top Spot
By John Hamann
April 2, 2017
Looks like the box office roll is going to continue thanks to The Boss Baby, which got off to a fabulous start this weekend.
It's hard to believe that the box office struggled as bad as it did through January and February, as March was lights out, and now April is off to a grand start. Openers this weekend include The Boss Baby, the latest animated kids flick from DreamWorks Animation, Ghost in the Shell, the Scarlett Johansson futuristic actioner, and The Zookeeper's Wife, one of those seemingly Oscar caliber films that gets an April release date as the final product didn't come together all that well. Looming in the background is Disney's Beauty and the Beast, which entered the weekend having earned almost $350 million domestic in only 14 days of release, putting it on pace to be one of the biggest earners of all-time, rivaling huge films like Marvel's Avengers, The Dark Knight, and Jurassic World. A big part of where Beauty would end up would depend on DreamWorks' The Boss Baby, as this is the first time the Disney mega hit has seen real competition.
Our number one film, and the first newcomer to knock Beauty and the Beast off its perch is The Boss Baby, the new $125 million animated feature. The Boss Baby is a little different that other big budget animated releases over the last couple of years – it isn't very good. The Boss Baby got started on Friday, beating reigning champion Beauty and the Beast by $2.5 million. The Boss Baby earned an opening day gross of $15.5 million, a neither very good or very bad score. That's just slightly less than the $15.7 million opening of DreamWorks' Home, the animated release about a little girl and an alien. That film delivered $51.1 million over its opening weekend, and there was no reason why The Boss Baby shouldn't find the same.
The Boss Baby followed almost exactly the same pattern as Home, finishing the weekend with a strong three day total of $49 million from 3,773 venues. The debut is toward the higher end of DreamWorks Animation's non-sequel opening weekends, with the first Kung Fu Panda being the top dog at $60 million, followed by Monsters vs Aliens at $59.3 million, Home at $52.1 million, and Shark Tale at $47.6 million. These releases don't hold a candle compared to what Pixar/Disney, Disney Animation or Illumination/Universal put out, and after The Boss Baby, DreamWorks Animation will transition from Fox to Universal, as in August 2016, Universal purchased the animation studio.
The opening for The Boss Baby is nothing drastic but okay, and it looks like legs may fall into the same category. Reviews were drab with a 49% overall fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes, and the top critics score was worse at 39%. This is another similar result to DreamWorks' Home, which landed at 47% overall and a 39% fresh score from top critics The Cinemascore was close to Home, but not quite. The Boss Baby earned an A- Cinemascore, whereas Home chimed in with a better A. Home earned a terrible-for-animation opening-to-total multiplier of 3.4, giving it a domestic total of $177 million. Overseas venues chimed in with another $208 million, giving it a global theatrical tally of $386 million, probably just good enough for a film that cost $135 million to make before marketing. There is no reason not to think that The Boss Baby won't follow Home's pattern around the world, but it cost $10 million less than Home at $125 million.