April 8, 2017

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Boss Baby” vs. “Beauty” & “Smurfs” vs. “Going In Style”


There are two neck-and-neck races at the top of the weekend box office, but neither is especially thrilling.

The #1-2 slots will be fought between holdovers.  According to preliminary numbers at Deadline, THE BOSS BABY (DreamWorks Animation/20th) had a $6.8M Friday, and BEAUTY & THE BEAST (Disney) earned $6.6M.  That should put both of them at about $24-25M for the weekend.  For Boss Baby, the decline from last Friday was 57%, far steeper than the 28% Friday-to-Friday drop for Home, which DreamWorks Animation opened at the end of March 2015–however, that 2d Friday in 2015 was Good Friday, so the comparisons aren’t exact.  Still, Boss Baby is looking more frontloaded than the studio would have liked, and it probably won’t approach Home‘s $177.4M US total.  Beauty was down a steadier 49% from last Friday, and now seems unlikely to make it to $500M in the US, not that there’s anything wrong with $475M, especially with over $500M already in the pot overseas.

#3-4 will be between two newcomers.  GOING IN STYLE (Village Roadshow/RatPac/New Line/Warners) had a $4.2M Friday, and SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE (Columbia/Sony) earned $4M.  Normally, that would give Smurfs the win, because of its presumed strength in weekend matinees, but Style is aimed at an unusually old audience that also doesn’t flock to opening night, so it could be closer than that, with both pictures likely to have $12-13M weekends.  That’s bad news for Smurfs, which carries something like $175M in worldwide production/marketing costs, and which will become the latest title to need heavy international overperformance just to break even.  Going In Style has more modest costs of $115M or so, but its problem is that it may have little overseas appeal, so it’s also in a problematic state.

THE CASE FOR CHRIST (Pure Flix) opened in a mid-wide release at 1174 theatres, with tiny production costs and marketing aimed squarely at Christian audiences, and started with a blah $1.6M, on its way to a $5M weekend.  It will hope to hold well over Easter.  Pure Flix tried the same strategy in 2015 with Do You Believe, which started with a $3.6M weekend, and Case might run ahead of that one and end up at $20M or so.

THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE (Focus/Universal) expanded its run by about 50% to 804 theatres, but still dipped 10% from last Friday to under $1M, with a $3M weekend ahead.  That suggests that won’t have the staying power of Woman In Gold, which started with a $2.1M weekend and made it all the way to $33.3M.

GHOST IN THE SHELL (DreamWorks/Reliance/Paramount) plunged on its 2d Friday by 72% to a woeful $2.1M, with a $7M weekend likely, and it may not get past $45M at the US box office.  Combined with its slow $50.6M start overseas, it’s going to swim in red ink.

POWER RANGERS (Lionsgate) continued to run out of steam, down 59% from last Friday to $1.6M, heading for a $6M weekend and a $85M US total.  Combined with an anemic $33M overseas, it’s a would-be franchise that isn’t going anywhere.

The longer runs continued to hold well.  KONG: SKULL ISLAND (Legendary/Tencent/Warners) dropped 37% from last Friday to $1.5M, on its way to a $5-6M weekend and $165M in the US.  GET OUT (Blumhouse/QC/Universal) slid a remarkable 30% on its 7th Friday to $1.2M, and should have a $4M weekend as it approaches $170M in the US.  LOGAN (TSG/20th) was down 35% to $1.1M, heading to a $4M weekend and $225M in the US.




About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."