Weekend Box Office (March 24 - 26, 2017)
THIS WEEKEND Leading a new crop of films, but unlikely to be mighty enough to claim the top spot, is the new take on Power Rangers which once again hits multiplexes, this time in a big budget way hoping to excite a portion of the same crowds that have lined up for Transformers flicks. The PG-13 pic does have a built-in audience to tap into and should pull in solid numbers from the tween crowd and kids looking for over the top action.
Older fans familiar with the brand may have some curiosity too. Mixed reviews should have little impact as this is one film that moviegoers know upfront if they want to see or not. Starpower is low too but again, this one is about brand over cast. Competition for young males from Kong will be a factor as that one could take about $15M out of the box office pie this weekend. Attacking 3,693 locations, Power Rangers might open to around $28M.
Sci-fi fans get a new story to enjoy this weekend with Life as space station scientists come across the first living organism not from Earth, who turns out to be not so nice. The R-rated thriller is gunning for the Alien audience and starpower from Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhaal should help Sony get some notice. Reviews are good too. But the marketplace has been crowded recently with pricey tentpole titles so adults have many options out there right now for entertainment. Invading over 2,500 locations, Life may capture around $14M this weekend.
Entering the marketplace with little excitement is the R-rated comedy CHiPs inspired by the old TV series. Warner Bros. should not see much of a turnout here and weak reviews will only reinforce consumer sentiment that this one is not worth paying top dollar for now. This is an example of a film that studio bosses in California want to greenlight, but people in the other 49 states have no interest in. Opening in 2,464 locations, CHiPs might debut to about $6M.
Disney should have no problem holding onto the number one spot with the fairy tale tentpole Beauty and the Beast which followed its record-breaking opening weekend with muscular mid-week grosses that will make up over $50M over four days. A 55% drop may be in order which would be normal for an event movie coming off of such a lofty debut frame. That would put Beast at about $78M for the weekend and an eye-popping $306M overall on its way to the neighborhood of $450M.
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Watch the trailer for The Fate of the Furious.
LAST YEAR It was a monster opening weekend for the super hero smackdown Batman v Superman which crushed the March record debuting to $166M over the Easter holiday frame. Warner Bros. saw a very frontloaded run as BvS finished up at $330.4M domestic and $873M worldwide. Three-time winner Zootopia followed in second with $24M. The comedy sequel My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 opened in third with $17.9M and reached $59.7M in the end for Universal. Miracles from Heaven and The Divergent Series: Allegiant rounded out the top five with $9.7M and $9.4M, respectively.
This column is updated three times each week: Thursday (upcoming weekend's summary), Sunday (post-weekend analysis with estimates), and Monday night (actuals). Opinions expressed in this column are those solely of the author.
Last Updated: March 23, 2017 at 3:50PM ET
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