April Box Office Recap
By Steven Slater
May 4, 2017
Okay, enough about the damn cars movie. Second for April is, perhaps surprisingly, Boss Baby. Capitalizing on a cute premise and Alec Baldwin’s voice, families gave this movie $133 million for the month of April, after just one day of playing in March. It has held its own and was still number four this weekend, and with no big family films in May it should keep going for at least a few more weeks. I think kids went and saw this movie, whereas parents could just turn on CNN. Only one has a happy ending.
Third is the juggernaut from March, Beauty and the Beast. After crushing records all over the place, it could only be expected to lose a bit of steam. It still earned a powerful $119 million for the month, which is about ten times what that other Emma Watson film made. Rumors are already trickling out about a sequel where Belle is either a librarian/teacher at the castle, or perhaps an upper crust socialite sent to the guillotine in the French Revolution. If she lives perhaps should could then be in an updated Les Mis? The domestic total for Beauty is a towering $480 million, with $1.2 billion in the crosshairs worldwide.
Now we tumble. The top three movies for April had just about all the butts in seats this year, and the rest were just happy to be there. Number four was a movie that probably should have been direct-to-video/streaming, Smurfs: the Lost Village. Smurfs actually had the number two opening weekend of the month (not counting that March/April weekend), with a paltry $13.2 million, and a monthly gross of $38 million. This is way down from the previous two Smurfs movies, as each new film seems to collapse 50% from the previous on the domestic front. In this one the Smurfs discovered women, so I can only imagine where this goes next.
Fifth place is Going in Style, which you would have thought starred better hairstyles than Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin and Michael Caine. Wait, there was a movie with three Oscar winners that came out in April! Wow, it must have been great! Well, it opened to $11.9 million and finished the month with $37 million, so it was about that great. Did I also mention it was directed by Zach Braff? Man, Garden State was a long time ago.
Sixth is about where most people start nodding off. Except for Scarlett Johannson, as Ghost in the Shell managed to get $32 million for the month and is struggling to get to the $175 million mark worldwide. I am still puzzled why this film did not do as well as Lucy (or why Lucy did so well), considering it feels like Scarlett Johannson was playing the same character (the voice...the action...the plot in many ways). I guess Lucy had Morgan Freeman, and we saw how that really brings home the bacon.
Seventh, eight, ninth and tenth are all holdovers from March as well, since April could not be revived from comatose after receiving a body slam from Dwayne Johnson. Power Rangers managed $30 million this month to bring its domestic total up to $84 million, which both feels like a lot and yet not enough for the franchise Lionsgate was looking for. Kong was still pulling in some dough, to the tune of $24 million in April, and it has just barely made more than $165 million in domestic receipts. It has passed the worldwide gross of the 2005 film, though, so I suppose that’s something. Get Out is still being the little engine that could. After opening big in February, it was the number four earner in March and is number nine in April, a mind-boggling result for a $4 million film. It pulled almost $20 million in for April, which is probably how much they thought it would make total! Finally, tenth is Logan, another February holdover, which earned $17 million bringing its domestic total up around $225 million, another great result.
If you want to find the top ten box office earners that opened in April, you are going to have to scrape the bottom of the barrel. Case for Christ, How to be a Latin Lover and Baahubali 2 earned more than $10 million this month, followed by the dregs of The Circle, Unforgettable, Born in China and the Promise. Guardians of the Galaxy cannot come fast enough. It looks like the final numbers will put April at around $800 million for the month, which is a fairly good result considering how few movies impacted the box office. But strong holdovers and one blockbuster are apparently good enough, as 2017 may be pacing a bit ahead of 2016 by this point. Let us end this month with a sacrifice of mediocre films, and chant the holy rite of passage into May: I am Groot!