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Weekend Box Office: Beauty Still Beastly as Power Rangers Opens Strong While Life, CHiPs Flounder

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By Chris Kavan - 03/26/17 at 07:29 PM CT

Disney continued to extend their excellent run at the box office as Beauty and the Beast became their fourth film in a row to top $600 million worldwide as it shows no signs of slowing down. Power Rangers had a remarkably strong opening in the face of such competition though, alas, the same could not be said for Life or CHiPs. Still, the top 12 took in $192.3 million, which was up a huge 63% compared to the same weekend last year and the coming weeks may help 2017 catch back up to 2016 after struggling in the early months. No matter the case, it was a good weekend for Hollywood and looks to stay that way for some time.

1) BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

For the second week in a row Beauty and the Beast topped the box office, and, really, it was not contest. The monster Disney film brought in $88.3 million, giving the film a new total of $317 million. It placed fourth on the all-time list in terms of biggest second weekend, biggest 10-day total and best second-week hold for a film opening above $125 million (as it dipped just 49.4%). And the films it trailed are the likes of The Force Awakens, Jurassic World and The Avengers. It also easily topped Logan ($201.45 million) to become the highest-grossing film of 2017, both domestic and international. With numbers like these, it is looking at $400 million domestic pretty much guaranteed with $500 million not outside the realm of possibility. It will hit $1 billion worldwide as well. It should remain the top film of the year and will really face no competition in that market until Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 and Star Wars: The Last Jedi hit later in the year. It will faced increasing competition in the weeks ahead, but I don't think the film shows any signs of slowing down anytime soon.

2) POWER RANGERS

With an effort to make the kid-friendly Power Rangers a bit more adult-skewing, it looks like new film made the right decision. Even up against Beauty and the Beast, Power Rangers scored an impressive $40.5 million debut. That is a rock-solid opening for the $110 million picture and, with $18 million foreign, it's sitting at $59 million worldwide. Opening day audiences gave the film an excellent "A" Cinemascore, which rose to an "A+" for those under 18. 60% of that audience was male while 50% were over 25. It turns out this darker, somewhat more violent take on the origin story much have stirred up both the nostalgic adults and interested the younger generation. It opened higher than Pacific Rim ($37 million) and if Power Rangers follows that same patter, it will eventually get to its $110 million budget. It remains to be seen, however, as the box office will soon see an influx of more family-friendly fare that will eat into its target audience while Ghost in the Shell will likely also take out a chunk. It will fight, but I think at least $100 million is likely and, as this is Lionsgate's ninth best opening of all time, I wouldn't be surprised if this spawns a new franchise in its own right.

3) KONG: SKULL ISLAND

The mighty Kong managed to hold on rather well itself in its third weekend out, dipping just 48.2% and raking in $14.42 million to raise its total to $133.5 million. It had an impressive opening in China with $72.1 million, raising its international total to $258.6 million and a worldwide total of just under $400 million. That's the second-best opening in China behind the somewhat surprising $94 million opening for Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. It looks like Kong is going to have an above-average run both in the U.S. and abroad and bodes well for the long-term prospects of the monster series. The film should hit $150 million in short order.

4) LIFE

The only other new wide release film to crack the top five was Life. Despite having an impressive cast, including Ryan Reynolds, Jake Gyllenhaal and Rebecca Ferguson the sci-fi horror about finding an aggressive and fast-evolving extraterrestrial life form could only muster a $12.6 million opening. The $58 million picture couldn't ride the wave of horror success and will have to hope for a robust international total to save face. The film will be lucky to hit $35 million domestic The film only scored a lackluster "C+" Cinemascore, so word-of-mouth isn't likely to bolster its numbers. It drew 55% male and 43% under 25. This one will likely exit after a few weeks, so if you're keen on sci-fi horror, better not wait too long.

5) LOGAN

Rounding out the top five, Logan drew in $10.1 million (down 43.1%) to raise its total to $201.45 million. It may have dropped the 2017 title to Beauty and the Beast, but Logan is still having an impressive run. It is only the 14th R-rated film to cross the $200 million mark. It is also closing in on $600 million worldwide with a current $565.5 million total. The film has been out long enough that it's going to start shedding theaters but earning back twice its $97 million budget on the domestic front alone is enough to call this one a hit.

Outside the top five: CHiPs looked pretty bad to me in the previews, and audiences and critics alike agreed. The comedy starring Dax Shepard and Michael Peņa opened in 7th place with just $7.6 million. The $25 million cost is low, but even that goal seems out of reach at this point and I suspect CHiPs will be lucky to even hit half that amount.

The other semi-wide release, Slamma Jamma, opened to $1.68 million (11th place) and has already pleased its niche audience and will likely exit theaters quickly.

No new milestones, though three films are very close to hitting various marks, so I'm sure next week will bring a few updates on that front.

Next week Ghost in the Shell drops, as does the animated Boss Baby.

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