Elsewhere, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ holds at No. 2 as it prepares to waltz past the $1 billion mark globally. ‘Going in Style,’ catering to older adults, opens ahead of expectations.
In another box-office blow for Sony, Smurfs: The Lost Village bombed in its North American debut with an estimated $14 million from 3,610 theaters, one of the worst starts in recent memory for an animated offering from a major Hollywood studio.
Smurfs 3 was undone by a pair of hearty family holdovers, DreamWorks Animation/Fox’s The Boss Baby and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
Boss Baby — voiced by Alec Baldwin, who is making headlines for his impersonation of President Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live, plus his new book — stayed atop the chart in its second weekend, falling 48 percent to $26.3 million for a pleasing domestic total of $89.4 million. The movie also bossed around Smurfs overseas with $37.5 million from 46 markets for a foreign tally of $110.4 million and just shy of $200 million worldwide.
Now in its fourth weekend, Beauty and the Beast followed at No. 2 in North America with $25 million for a domestic tally of $432.3 million. The live-action fairy tale is days away from jumping the $1 billion mark globally after finishing Sunday with a dazzling global haul of $977.4 million. Beauty is winding down its run internationally, where it earned $36.1 million for the weekend.
Smurfs: Lost Village, placing No. 3 domestically, was intended to reinvigorate the franchise after Smurfs 2 earned $347.5 million worldwide in 2013, far less than the $563.7 million global tally scored by The Smurfs in 2011 (the first two titles were CGI/live-action hybrids).
Lost Village, costing a relatively modest $60 million to make, will have to do big business overseas if Sony is to get its wish and make more installments. So far, Smurfs 3 is having a tough time offshore, where it took in another $22 million from 58 markets over the weekend for a foreign cume of $42.1 million and $56.1 million globally (it opened early internationally).
Sony maintains that Lost Village can still find its way, thanks to spring break and the upcoming Easter holiday. The movie, which some rival studios have ending up closer to $13 million for the weekend, earned an A CinemaScore.
The new film centers on a mysterious map that sets Smurfette (Demi Lovato) and her friends Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty on a race through the Forbidden Forest leading to the discovery of the biggest secret in Smurf history. Rainn Wilson, Joe Manganiello and Jack McBrayer are among the voice cast and Kelly Asbury (Gnomeo & Juliet) directed.
In a surprise twist, Village Roadshow and Warner Bros.’ Going in Style — catering to the elderly set — came in well ahead of expectations with $12.5 million. More than 70 percent of the audience was over the age of 50.
Directed by Zach Braff, the $25 million movie is a remake of the 1979 heist film and stars Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin as three retirees who decide to rob a bank when their pensions go belly-up. Ann-Margret and Matt Dillon also star in Going in Style, which had been expected to open to $8 million. The movie, coming in No. 4, received a B+ CinemaScore.
The weekend’s third new nationwide offering, The Case for Christ, placed No. 10 with just $3.9 million. The faith-based drama, from Pure Flix Films, tells the real-life story of a self-avowed atheist and journalist who sets out to disprove his wife’s newfound Christian faith. Nabbing an A+ CinemaScore, Case for Christ stars Mike Vogel, Erika Christensen, Faye Dunaway and Robert Forster.
Elsewhere in the top 10, Paramount’s Ghost in the Shell, starring Scarlett Johansson and based on the popular Japanese manga series, tumbled 61 percent in its second weekend to $7.4 million for a disappointing 10-day domestic tally of $31.6 million.
Ghost in the Shell, which has been dogged by controversy for not casting an Asian star in the central role, is faring better overseas, where it topped the foreign chart with $41.1 million from 54 markets upon opening to $21.4 million in China. That puts the movie’s foreign tally $92.5 million for $124.1 million globally. However, it debuted at No. 2 in Japan with $3.2 million despite a major local marketing push by Paramount.
At the specialty box office, Niki Caro’s The Zookeeper’s Wife expanding into a total of 804 theaters after a limited debut last weekend. The Focus Features film, starring Jessica Chastain, grossed a muted $2.9 million for a 10-day domestic total of $7.6 million.
Colossal, starring Anne Hathaway as a woman who battles a Godzilla-like creature in South Korea, opened in four theaters in New York and Los Angeles, grossing $124,809 for a screen average of $31,452 the best of the weekend. The independent film marks the first release from Neon, the distribution company launched by former Radius-TWC co-chief Tomas Quinn and Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim League.
Fox Searchlight opted for a bigger footprint for Gifted, directed by Marc Webb and starring Chris Evans, Mckenna Grace and Octavia Spencer. Rolling out in 56 locations, the drama opened to $476,000.
EuropaCorp and STX Entertainment’s critically acclaimed British romantic comedy Their Finest, starring Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin and Bill Nighy, debuted to $77,000 from four theaters in L.A. and New York for a screen average of $19,250.
Next weekend sees the release of The Fate of the Furious in over 4,200 theaters, which means it’s already looking to become the widest release of April, topping the 4,028 theaters The Jungle Book opened in last year before debuting with over $103 million and more than the 4,004 theaters Furious 7 premiered in back in 2015, when it opened with $147.1 million. One interesting factor when forecasting Furious 8 is the fact the seventh installment had the sentimental aspect surrounding the untimely passing of franchise star Paul Walker and while audience goodwill and excitement most certainly remains for the franchise, can it manage to match its predecessor’s monster opening?
In addition to its domestic debut, Fate of the Furious will also be opening in 66 international markets next week, beginning on Wednesday in Australia, France, Korea, Belgium, Egypt, Indonesia, French-Switzerland and Trinidad. Also of note, that opening includes 1,074 IMAX screens globally including North America and China, making it the widest day and date opening in IMAX history.