Can Anyone Dethrone Disney? ScarJo & Alec Baldwin in Diapers Take Their Best Shots. This Coming Weekend at the Boxoffice

By Jim Amos | March 26, 2017 4:09 pm PDT
Boss Baby, Ghost in the Shell, Zookeeper's Wife posters

While “Beauty and the Beast” maintained its place atop the boxoffice charts this weekend, Lionsgate’s “Power Rangers” recharge exceeded expectations and pulled off a rather nifty USD $40 million opening. What was particularly surprising was the strength of the film with moviegoers in their late 20’s and early 30’s. It was always expected that the 14-24 year old audience would be the film’s core demographic but the fact that it trended older proved the difference between the USD $30 million or so predicted here and the USD $40 million level where the film landed. The film was much less successful overseas however, pulling in a ho-hum USD $19 million from 60 markets.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is where the good news ends. Sony’s “Life” proved DOA at the boxoffice with a flatline opening weekend tally of USD $12.6 million. As we mentioned last week, estimates on the Ryan Reynolds sci-fi thriller had been going in the wrong direction for the past month or so. Then again it could have been worse. You could have been Dax Shepard, whose “CHiPs” was the boxoffice equivalent of a 12 car pileup. The film managed a mere USD $7.6 million, half of what was expected. Hopefully this brings to a halt the trend of making movie versions of mediocre TV shows from the 80’s (are you listening, Punky Brewster?)

One final note, prior to this weekend, Sony’s “Passengers” stood at a cumulative gross of USD $99,466,845. To drive that number past USD $100 million, the studio decided to show “Passengers” Saturday morning in selected theatres and then have a sneak of their “Smurfs Lost Village” movie late in the afternoon and use that gross to add to “Passengers”. Hmmmm.

“Ghost in the Shell” (Paramount)—Scar Jo is back and kicking ass again in this feature film version of the Japanese manga classic. This is Ms. Johansson’s second turn in an action film that has a foreign flair after 2014’s “Lucy”. That film opened to USD $43 million here in the States on its way to an overall take of USD $126 million but the real money was made internationally where is amassed a massive USD $336 million.

The Verdict: Making a film primarily aimed for a foreign audience doesn’t mean death in North America. Quite the contrary. Johansson is a major star Stateside and this is a role her fans like her in. Having IMAX will also help. USD $34 million.

“Boss Baby” (Fox/Dreamworks)—It’s hard to argue with how successful movies have been for family audiences so far this year and Dreamworks serves us up another kid friendly offering with “Boss Baby”. Alec Baldwin voices the title character, a toddler who tries to stop the evil plot of the CEO of Puppy Co.

The Verdict: The outdoor billboards and bus shelters are everywhere and it’s hard to argue against Dreamworks animation for at least a decent opening. It will be interesting to see how the continuing boxoffice rampage of “Beauty and the Beast” affects this. USD $25 million.

ALSO OPENING— Focus is going with 500 or so runs of “The Zookeeper’s Wife”, the true story of how the Warsaw Zoo saved hundreds of Polish Jews in WWII, starring Jessica Chastain and Daniel Bruhl.

Jim Amos
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