No one expected it to happen this soon, but Beauty and the Beast was felled in its third weekend by … The Boss Baby? Yep, the Fox / DreamWorks animated film scored a higher than predicted $50.1 million in its first outing, topping DWA’s How To Train Your Dragon 2 delivering the studio’s ninth highest opening weekend. The Boss Baby opened in five international markets last week with $17.5 million, and expanded by 37 markets this weekend delivering $36.2 million for an international total of just over $60 million. Combined with the domestic opening, the film has already earned $111 million worldwide against a $50 million budget. The Boss Baby may find itself with some real competition this weekend as Smurfs: The Lost Village opens.
At the other end of the spectrum, the highly anticipated (and equally dreaded) Ghost in the Shell could only muster a third place finish with $18.6 million, another dud for Paramount. For comparison, star Scarlett Johansson’s last action flick Lucy opened to the tune of $43.8 million, and carried an R-rating. Ghost in the Shell arrived with quite a lot of baggage, but looking at recent action films rated R that topped its opening weekend, a real case could be made that audiences are eager for more adult fare with their action movies. Internationally, the film delivered $40.1 million for a global total of $58.7 million … a long way from the estimated $110 million budget.
One other newcomer cracked the Top Ten: The Zookeeper’s Wife opened on just 541 screens, earning a respectable $3.2 million. If you’re counting, that would give the film a per screen average of $6,079, the third highest average in the Top Ten.
Last weekend’s newcomers did not fare very well in their second weeks. CHiPs saw the smallest drop-off of 49%, but it dropped two spots to Number 9 with $3.9 million. In its second week, the $25 million film has earned just $14.2 million domestically. It’s international tally stands at $3.9 million. The Alien-ish rip-off Life took a 56% tumble, falling four spots to Number 8 with $5.5 million. In two weeks the $58 million thriller has earned just $22.2 million domestically. Its international fortunes look a little better with a cumulative $28.4 million in the bank. Power Rangers took the hardest hit with a 65% drop in week two, slipping two spots to Number 4 with $14.2 million. The $100 million action flick has earned $64.7 million domestically and $32.7 million in foreign markets for a $97.4 million global gross.
Beauty and the Beast dropped just a few points shy of 50% in its third week, taking the Number 2 spot with $45.4 million. It’s domestic total is now $393.3 million. The film added $66.5 million from 55 foreign markets, with a cumulative $481.5 million total. Globally the film has now earned $874.9 million.
The weekend of April 7 will offer a mixed bag of films for all audiences, hitting anywhere from 4 to 3,400 screens. Films in limited release — under 50 screens — that won’t pose any threat to the Top Ten include Their Finest and Gifted. On about 1,100 screens is The Case for Christ, hoping to take advantage of the upcoming Easter holiday. Hitting more than 3,000 screens are the senior comedy Going In Style (a remake of a senior comedy from 1979) and the aforementioned Smurf: The Lost Village.
Below are the Top Ten grosses for the weekend of March 31.
3. [N] Ghost in the Shell – $18,676,033 [NEW]
8.  Life – $5,551,767 [$22,296,006]
9.  CHiPs – $3,958,188 [$14,270,554]
10. [N] The Zookeeper’s Wife – $3,288,835 [NEW]
[#] Last week’s position. [N] New in theaters. ★ HOTCHKA review | Source: Box Office Mojo