Are America’s babysitters all on strike? Faced with an apparently widespread need to preoccupy their offspring for a couple hours, parents descended upon the nation’s multiplexes in droves this weekend, products of their combined DNA in tow. Teenage ushers could only gape in horror as popcorn-spilling tykes filed into soon-to-be-trashed auditoriums, flanked by their accompanying adults, to watch beauties woo beasts, babies act like bosses, and little blue creatures from their parents’ youth attempt to reinvent themselves as 21st-century franchise stars. (Or maybe not to watch any of those things; kids have been ignoring the movie in front of them just fine for years without the newfangled aid of literal jungle gyms in the theater.)
All of which is to say that the box office belonged, on this early April weekend, to that most nebulous of genres, the family film. At the top of the charts sat last week’s repeat winners, The Boss Baby ($26.3 million) and Beauty And The Beast ($25 million), unfazed in their moneymaking supremacy by the damning C+ reviews issued by this very website. We gave the very same grade to Smurfs: The Lost Village, which landed in third place with a wholly anticipated $14 million. It’s almost as if The A.V. Club has no influence on the ticket-buying public—an impression furthered, perhaps, by the dismal second weekend for Ghost In The Shell, which landed in fifth place with just $7.3 million, despite the fact that we dug it. (It fell one slot lower than the sappy coot comedy Going In Style, whose $12.5 million opening is better than many expected for it—and certainly better than it deserved.)
Back to Smurfs, though. The rebooted cartoon property scored an “A” on the wildly unscientific, wildly inflated CinemaScore scale, which polls the opening-weekend audiences of new movies. That’s a very good score—though not as good as what audiences issued to the new Pure Flix sermon, The Case For Christ, whose “A+” translated into a decent, if hardly divine, $3.9 million debut. (Preaching to the choir pays off, go figure.) Otherwise, it was a crowded but quiet weekend at the movies, with modest bows for Gifted ($476,000 in 56 theaters), Colossal ($125,000 in four theaters), Their Finest ($77,000 in four theaters), and Graduation ($11,000 on two screens). The most successful of the limited-release crop: Anime sensation Your Name, which took home $1.6 million in its first three days of American release. Never bet against animation—even, apparently, the kind not made to distract your kids on a long Saturday.
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.