Fans of animation and/or special effects, rejoice! This is the week for you.
Both have somewhat middling early reviews on that bastion of critical taste that is Rotten Tomatoes, but there’s reason to believe both can be somewhat successful this weekend.
Starting with The Boss Baby: it’s a kid’s movie that, if the trailer tells us anything, winks at star Alec Baldwin’s past performances (specifically in Glengarry Glen Ross). It’s a weekend light on kid’s fare and this one looks like it could please both kids and their parents. Box Office Mojo compares it to Rio 2 which opened to $39 million in its first weekend, though its confidence doesn’t quite extend that high financially. The Boss Baby is projected to hit $30 million per industry expectation and Box Office Mojo sees its ceiling at $35.4 million.
Of greater relevance to podcast listeners is Ghost in the Shell, the Scarlett Johansson vehicle based on the graphic novel of the same name. Johansson is a star with Marvel Cinematic Universe credentials, of course, but her box office success extends beyond her work as Black Widow. In 2014, Lucy opened to $43.8 million in its opening weekend against a reported $40 million budget (en route to a $460 worldwide gross). Because of that success, it’s understandable that her future endeavors would carry heftier price tags. That’s reportedly the case with Ghost in the Shell, which is said to carry a $110 million budget.
From that perspective, an expected weekend gross of $25 million seems cause for panic. But Box Office Mojo is actually a little bullish on this one, forecasting a $32 million opening. This puts its tracking alongside films such as The Maze Runner, Now You See Me, and Edge of Tomorrow. And while a third-place finish may not seem promising for this expensive adaptation, but this was never a movie that was going to make most of its money domestically anyway. Ghost in the Shell will open in 50 international markets this weekend, and as an adaptation of a popular Japanese media franchise this release is really targeted toward the Asian market. That’ll be where it makes its money (though you should see it and then listen to our upcoming podcast episode! Wink, wink.)
All that said, Beauty and the Beast is still in wide release and projected to keep the top spot for the third consecutive week. In fact, it may not be until April 14th when The Fate of the Furious opens that Beast will have a true challenger to knock it off the No. 1 spot.