While predicting box office grosses week in and week out is certainly not an exact science, some movies' blockbuster potential is much easier to identify than others. Hardly anyone was surprised that Beauty and the Beast debuted far above industry expectations, earning a record-breaking $174.7 million in its opening weekend, while dropping just 48.3% last weekend, to again easily win with $90.4 million. This weekend, the live-action fairy tale adaptation faces its biggest challenge yet, going up against DreamWorks Animation's The Boss Baby and Paramount's live-action manga adaptation Ghost in the Shell. Unless either of these two new releases overperforms in a big way, they shouldn't stop Beauty and the Beast from winning for a third weekend in a row, with a predicted $43.1 million.
Box Office Mojo reports that The Boss Baby is expected to debut in roughly 3,700 theaters, while the Ghost in the Shell adaptation is slated to debut in roughly 3,200 theaters. While those are both solid theater count numbers for an opening weekend, Beauty and the Beast will likely remain in 4,210 theaters this weekend, 1,000 more than Ghost in the Shell and 500 more than The Boss Baby. As far as these new releases' critical receptions, The Boss Baby is currently at 29% on Rotten Tomatoes, although there aren't any reviews posted for Ghost in the Shell yet. That will certainly change over the next few days. We're predicting that The Boss Baby will debut in second place with $20.2 million, with the top 5 rounded out by Power Rangers ($18.6 million), Ghost in the Shell ($16.3 million) and Kong: Skull Island ($8.1 million).
As of now, Disney's Beauty and the Beast is the biggest movie of 2017, with a domestic take of $319 million and a worldwide tally of $693.5 million, from a budget of $160 million. It very well could be the first box office blockbuster of the year to surpass $1 billion worldwide, which may happen in the next week or two. If that happens, it will be the 29th movie in box office history to do so, and the 14th Disney movie to surpass this box office milestone. With highly-anticipated movies like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (May 5), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (May 26), Cars 3 (June 16), Thor: Ragnarok (November 3), Coco (November 22) and Star Wars: The Last Jedi (December 15), this could end up being a record-shattering year for Disney at the box office.
When the brother of a fast-talking briefcase-carrying baby (voiced by Alec Baldwin) embarks on a mission to win back the sole affection of his parents, he stumbles upon a secret plot by the CEO of Puppy Co. (voiced by Steve Buscemi) that threatens to destroy the balance of love in the world, and this brash baby executive masquerading as his new brother is at the center of it all in DreamWorks Animation's The Boss Baby. Now, they must come together as true brothers to stop the dastardly scheme, save their parents, restore order to the world, and prove that love is indeed an infinite force. The Boss Baby voice cast is rounded out by Lisa Kudrow, Tobey Maguire, Jimmy Kimmel, ViviAnn Lee and Miles Christopher Bakshi.
In the near future, Major (Scarlett Johansson) is the first of her kind: A human saved from a terrible crash, who is cyber-enhanced to be a perfect soldier devoted to stopping the world's most dangerous criminals. When terrorism reaches a new level that includes the ability to hack into people's minds and control them, Major is uniquely qualified to stop it. As she prepares to face a new enemy, Major discovers that she has been lied to: her life was not saved, it was stolen. She will stop at nothing to recover her past, find out who did this to her and stop them before they do it to others. Based on the internationally acclaimed Japanese Manga, "The Ghost in the Shell." The supporting cast includes Pilou Asbaek, Sam Riley, Michael Pitt, Christopher Obi and Takeshi Kitano.
The top 10 will be rounded out by Life ($6 million), Logan ($5.4 million), Get Out ($4.1 million), CHiPs ($3.2 million) and The Shack ($1.9 million). Also opening in limited release are The Zookeeper's Wife, The Blackcoat's Daughter, Carrie Pilby, Here Alone, Despite the Falling Snow, Here Alone, Live Cargo, God Knows Where I Am, a re-release of Donnie Darko, The Prison, The Devotion of Suspect X and Naam Shabana. The Zookeeper's Wife is expected to open in roughly 650 theaters, while The Devotion of Suspect X is said to arrive in roughly 45 theaters. It remains to be seen if any of these films will expand in the weeks and months ahead.
Looking ahead to next weekend, three new films will open in wide release, with Sony's Smurfs: The Lost Village going up against Warner Bros.' comedy remake Going in Style and PureFlix's The Case For Christ. Also debuting in limited release are Magnolia's Alive and Kicking and Cezanne et moi, Neon's Colossal, Parade Deck's The Eyes, Fox Searchlight's Gifted, IFC's Graduation, Well Go USA's Mine, STX Entertainment's Their Finest, Shout! Factor's The Ticket, FilmRise's Truman Screen Media's The Void and Funimation's Your Name. Check back on Sunday for the box office estimates, and again next Tuesday for our next round of predictions. Until then, take a look at our projections for the weekend of March 31.