Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” will easily hold on to the No. 1 spot at the box office in its second weekend in theaters, making $23.6 million on Friday to reach $252 million domestic and soaring past the $500 million global milestone in just a week, reaching $541 million worldwide.
Disney now estimates that the film will pass the $300 million domestic mark by the end of the weekend, which would make “Beauty” the sixth film to pass that mark in just ten days.
Coming in second is Lionsgate’s “Power Rangers,” the highest among newcomers this week, with $15 million from 3,693 screens. That puts “Rangers” on pace to exceed trackers’ expectations of a $35 million opening weekend for a $40+ million opening.
By comparison, Paramount’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” made $25 million in its opening Friday in August 2014 and went on to make $65 million in its opening weekend. Lionsgate is planning to make several sequels to continue the Rangers’ adventures, as evident by the film’s post-credit scene. But with a $105 million budget, “Power Rangers” will need a strong holdover and a good boost from overseas markets to prove sequels are a worthy investment.
“Power Rangers” retells the story of the TV show’s first season back in 1993, with five teens from Angel Grove being summoned by the mysterious Zordon (Bryan Cranston) to become the Power Rangers and take on his former ally-turned-villain, Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks).
Dean Israelite directed the film from a screenplay by John Gatins, with “Power Rangers” creator Haim Saban producing with Wyck Godfrey, Marty Bowen and Brian Casentini. The film has received mixed reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, with current scoring at 44 percent, but has received an A from CinemaScore audiences.
In third is “Life,” the $58 million space horror film from Columbia Pictures. The film made $4.3 million on its opening Friday, putting it on pace to meet trackers’ low expectations of an opening weekend in the mid-teens.
Directed by Daniel Espinosa and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds and Rebecca Ferguson, “Life” follows a team of astronauts on a Mars exploration team that finds itself in terrible danger when the alien specimen they recovered turns hostile and threatens to kill them all on their voyage back to Earth.
The film received solid reviews after its premiere at SXSW and currently holds a 67 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes. But audiences did not match their enthusiasm, as the film received a C+ on CinemaScore.
In fourth on Friday — but in position to take third by the end of the weekend — is WB/Legendary’s “Kong: Skull Island,” which made $3.7 million domestic in its third Friday to bring its domestic total to $122 million. The monster movie also enjoyed a strong opening in China yesterday, making $22.5 million.
“Logan” rounds out the top five with $2.65 million, as it nears the $200 million domestic mark.
Just outside the top five is “CHIPS,” Dax Shepard’s comedy based on the classic 70s TV series, making $2.6 million from 2,494 screens. Shepard stars alongside Michael Pena as a pair of California Highway Patrol officers tasked with bringing down a sadistic ex-cop (Vincent D’Onofrio). The $25 million film was largely panned by critics, receiving a 21 percent RT rating and B- from CinemaScore.