A weak batch of new releases has made this weekend’s box office another tight battle between DreamWorks Animation’s “The Boss Baby” and Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” but signs point to the Alec Baldwin-driven “Baby” edging out “Beast” for the No. 1 spot.
Early estimates have “Boss Baby” making $26 million in its second weekend, a good holdover from its surprisingly strong $49 million opening. “Beauty,” meanwhile, is estimated to make around $25 million in its fourth weekend in theaters.
Finishing in a distant third is Sony Animation’s “Smurfs: The Lost Village,” which is now estimated to make just under $15 million after trackers projected a $20-22 million weekend. That amount would fail to even pass the $21.3 opening total for “Ice Age: Collision Course,” which was the lowest opening total for the long-running “Ice Age” franchise. The good news is that the decision to make this “Smurfs” film fully animated has kept the production budget down to a reported $60 million, compared to $110 million for the live-action/CGI animation hybrid “Smurfs” released in 2011.
“Smurfs: The Lost Village” stars Demi Lovato as Smurfette, who goes on a quest with her fellow Smurfs after they discover a map that may be proof that they are not the only Smurfs in existence. The film made $4.15 million in its opening Friday from 3,610 screens and received an A from CinemaScore polls despite receiving just 38 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
In fourth is New Line and Village Roadshow’s “Going In Style,” which looks to be on pace to hit the upper end of trackers’ $10-12 million projections and could possibly take third from “Smurfs,” depending on the turnout from senior audiences, who tend to come out later in a film’s release cycle. “Going In Style” made $4.2 million from 3,061 locations on Friday.
Directed by Zach Braff and written by “Hidden Figures” director Theodore Melfi, “Going In Style” stars Alan Arkin, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine as a trio of retirees who plan a heist after losing their pensions due to company restructuring. It scored 43 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and earned a B+ on CinemaScore.
Rounding out the top five is Paramount’s “Ghost in the Shell,” which is expected to bring in around $9 million after making a mere $75 million worldwide in its first week in theaters against a reported $110 million budget before P&A.
The maligned Scarlett Johansson action film gets its opening in China this weekend, but with a $7.8 million Friday in that market, it’s unlikely the Chinese release will put “Ghost in the Shell” in the red. It will be interesting to see how the anime adaptation performs in the IP’s home country of Japan, as the Japanese dub will be voiced by the cast of Mamoru Oshii’s 1995 film.