DreamWorks Animation, which is behind classics like the "Shrek," "Madagascar," and "Kung Fu Panda" franchises, looks to have another hit on its hands with its latest release, "The Boss Baby," taking in an estimated $49 million over the weekend, according to Boxofficepro.com.
That dethrones Disney's "The Beauty and the Beast," which has been No. 1 at the box office for the last two weeks. The movie came in second with $47 million.
The live-action remake now has a domestic total of $395 million, $876 million worldwide.
But all wasn't well for DreamWorks this weekend. Its long-developed, $110 million live-action retelling of the popular Japanese manga, "Ghost in the Shell," only earned $19 million over the weekend.
"The Boss Baby," starring Alec Baldwin voicing the baby and released by 20th Century Fox, was perfectly scheduled on the calendar. The kids who had finally seen "Beauty and the Beast" enough times to get their fill of the remake of Disney's 1991 animated classic (or were a little too young to go see it) were ready to be entertained by a baby wearing a suit.
Paramount's "Ghost in the Shell" just never seemed to have any momentum going all the way back to its casting of Scarlett Johansson as the movie's main character, Major. That led to accusations of whitewashing after critics saw the movie that didn't let up into opening weekend.
But a controversy like whitewashing typically doesn't enter the mind of the average moviegoer. So there's a little more that goes into the movie's failure than that. Though "Shell" is visually stunning, it's likely its lack of substance (a deep psychological story about keeping your soul in an age of cyborgs) that might have gone over everyone's head. Or just didn't motivate them to go see the movie opening weekend and wait until it's available to stream.
However, don't be surprised if the movie rebounds at the international box office. The big reason to cast a star like Johansson is she has as much international clout as she does domestically. Despite all the whitewashing talk, she could be the movie's saving grace.
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