“Ghost in the Shell,” an anime adaptation from Paramount, DreamWorks and Reliance Entertainment, blew past the competition at the Thursday box office, picking up $1.8 million from evening screenings in 2,229 locations. That compares favorably with “The Girl on the Train” and “10 Cloverfield Lane,” both of which went on to gross more than $25 million during their opening weekends.
“Ghost in the Shell” is a Rupert Sanders adaptation of the Japanese manga series by Masamune Shirow, which was also made into a 1990s anime film. Scarlet Johansson stars as “The Major” Mira Killian, a human-cyborg hybrid crimefighter who, along with her team known as Section 9, is tasked with hunting down an elusive and dangerous hacker known as the Puppet Master. The film also features Pilou Asbaek, Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche, Chin Han and Michael Pitt. “Ghost in the Shell” is projected to pick up about $25 million this weekend, and its production budget is about $110 million.
Fox/DreamWorks’ “The Boss Baby” is the only other debut film this weekend — it was second-in-command Thursday, reeling in $1.5 million from about 2,700 locations. The movie is expected to gross somewhere around $30 million this weekend, but neither “Boss Baby” nor “Ghost” is likely to knock off Disney’s two-time defending box office champ “Beauty and the Beast.”
Alec Baldwin stars in the animated comedy as a suit-and-tie-wearing infant who is dropped into a family. Tom McGrath directed the movie, which also stars Miles Christopher Bakshi, Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow and Tobey Maguire.