“Beauty and the Beast” Eyeing a Three-Peat as the Number One Film This Weekend

the box office-2

Box Office 3.30

Beauty and the Beast

$44 million

The Boss Baby

 $32.5 million 

Ghost in the Shell

$23 million

Power Rangers

$17 million

 Kong: Skull Island

$8 million

Disney’s current juggernaut Beauty and the Beast may have competition, but not nearly enough to knock it from the top. For the third weekend in a row, the enchanting tale as old as time is poised to take the top spot at the box office. It’s perhaps not exactly rare for a film to do this — after all, already this year alone, both Hidden Figures and Split have both done this — but it is certainly an accomplishment and one to wear with pride, especially with the constant influx of new movies looking to knock other films down a few pegs. Admittedly, it’s also somewhat easier to do this at the beginning of the year when fewer blockbusters are opening week after week after week.

Still, these high numbers paint a more positive picture for movie theaters than recent discussions have suggested. For all the talk about the death of the movie theater in recent years, “in the last two decades, there have never been this many people seeing this many hit movies this early in the year,” wrote Adam Vary for BuzzFeed. In a YTD comparison between 2017 and 2016 so far, 2017 is up nearly 3 percent, which is not as high as 2016 was up compared to 2015, but it’s still a positive trend.

beauty-and-the-beast-bannerWalt Disney Pictures

A big factor to 2017’s strong start is far and away Beauty and the Beast. The film is now less than $250 million away from reaching $1 billion and given the fact that it’s made its $750 million worldwide total in only about 15 days or so, there’s no doubt that it will — which means it’s time to raise the bar even higher. It seems unlikely it will cross $2 billion as only three movies in history have done that (Avatar, Titanic, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens), but will it only barely cross $1 billion as films like Zootopia and The Dark Knight Rises or will it reach the heights of films like Furious 7 and The Avengers, which were able to cross $1.5 billion? As it’s pacing, perhaps not, but bigger surprises have happened at the box office before and Beauty and the Beast isn’t a film that should be discounted.

Opening Weekend Current Gross Facebook Likes Tweets
Beauty and the Beast $174.7m $341.8m  76,744  400,629
The Boss Baby N/A N/A 733,105  16,172
Ghost in the Shell N/A N/A 764,981 81,164
Power Rangers $40.3m $48.7m  61,458 320,222
Kong: Skull Island $61m $137.9m 9,010 20,819

The next films in the top five for the weekend are going to be newcomers The Boss Baby and Ghost in the Shell. While the former may be easy to mock, it’s high past time we doubt the power of animated family films, especially given it’s been several weeks since the last animated family film — The LEGO Batman Movie — was topping any charts. Even though Beauty and the Beast is still holding strong, it overlaps with Boss Baby and likely people who have already seen the fairy tale once or twice will opt for a new movie this time around. An opening around $30 million, or a little higher, will put Boss Baby squarely in the middle of DreamWorks Animation’s openings, somewhere in the range of Mr. Peabody & Sherman and Puss in Boots. It won’t be a Shrek but depending on how far its legs go, it could do relatively well for itself. However, another animated film, the Smurfs sequel opens next week, giving this film direct competition.

ghost in the shell bannerParamount Pictures

Next up is the controversial Ghost in the Shell and the real thing to watch for this weekend is just how much the whitewashing controversy affects the film’s performance. So far, it’s receiving mixed reviews from critics and audience members have been lambasting the project ever since Scarlett Johansson was announced. It’s projected to open somewhere in the mid-20s, which is certainly not bad but also not ideal for a film of this caliber, especially given its $110 million budget. Like with many other films, however, if it does poorly here, it could be saved by its overseas performance. Either way, several eyes will be on this film this weekend — if not in theaters, at least in tracking how it fares.

Rotten Tomatoes IMDb Metacritic
Critics Users Stars  
Beauty and the Beast 71  86  7.8  65
The Boss Baby 34 N/A  5.6  50
Ghost in the Shell 60 N/A 6.8  62
Power Rangers 46  80  7.1 44
Kong: Skull Island 78  75 7.1 62

Finally, holdovers Power Rangers and Kong: Skull Island will bring up the rear, leaving Life, the sci-fi thriller which opened last week, to fall off the top five quicker than most movies. The former of the final two has been receiving a lot of good buzz since it opened last week and it’s definitely showing in its box office performance. The film is just below $50 million domestically and $70 million worldwide and while it needs to bring in several more dollars to justify its $100 million budget, there’s still plenty of time for it to do so, especially given the various international markets it has yet to open in. Kong, meanwhile, continues to ride its success for one last week in the top five as it looks to reach $150 million domestically and bring its worldwide total past $400 million.

Elsewhere, the World War II drama The Zookeeper’s Wife starring Jessica Chastain is opening in limited release as it seeks to make its mark.

(Sources: boxoffice.com, boxofficemojo.com, rottentomatoes.com, imdb.com, metacritic.com. Tweets and Likes represent figures for this week only. Figures represent numbers at time of writing, and may have changed. Tracking Board does not report Rotten Tomatoes user ratings for movies that have not yet seen wide release.)

 | Associate Editor
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Still quiet here.sas

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