This weekend, America paid an unhealthy amount of attention to a petulant, narcissistic baby in a suit, hurling orders and insults at everyone in sight, a phone often grasped in his tiny baby fingers. But enough about the 45th President of the United States. Droves of moviegoers went to see Alec Baldwin play a different infantile, tantrum-throwing tyrant: The Boss Baby, that fake-sounding cartoon about a baby who is also a boss, premiered atop the U.S. box office, bigly besting predictions with a robust $49 million showing. Was this some sick form of self-flagellation, the country revisiting its recent mistakes in cheery big-screen form? Or will parents just drag their kids to any new animated movie, no matter how dumb (and vaguely, depressingly topical) it looks or sounds?
The Boss Baby’s debut was strong enough to dethrone reigning box-office champion Beauty And The Beast, but only just barely: Disney’s tale as old as (Out Of )Time made another $47.5 million in its third weekend of release; it’s now grossed almost $400 million in the U.S. alone, and will probably continue to draw in audiences, even with additional family fare—like next week’s Smurfs reboot—coming down the pike. Should we expect a noticeable increase, going forward, in live-action versions of animated classics? Not if studios get spooked by the poor performance of Ghost In The Shell, another big-budget adaptation of an oft-told tale that leans heavily on the imagery and popularity of a ’90s incarnation. Scarlett Johansson’s blazing star power wasn’t quite enough to push the PG-13 actioner into hit territory; its $19 million opening is a disappointment, given the $110 million price tag.
Otherwise, the weekend connecting March to April was dominated by the former’s holdover hits—the furry beasts and beloved superheroes that made it such a giant month for movies. Disney’s repackaged musical may be the smash of the season, but it’s Jordan Peele’s provocative horror sleeper Get Out, which has now hit $156 million in its sixth week, that feels like the biggest winner. Forbes is reporting that the film is now the highest grossing debut for a writer-director working with an original screenplay—an arbitrary-sounding statistic, perhaps, but one that basically translates to a lot of opportunities for Peele. He’s said to be eyeballing a live-action Akira as his next project. For the sake of his burgeoning career, let’s hope that cross-medium adaptation turns out to be more Beast than Ghost at the box office.
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.