Turns out nobody puts Baby in a corner.
DreamWorks Animation's The Boss Baby, released by Fox, burst onto the scene Friday, grossing an estimated $15.5 million in North America, including $1.5 million collected at Thursday night previews, and setting itself up for a projected $50 million weekend.
That's well above expectations that had pegged the movie as doing $30 million-plus for the three days and should enable it to grab the weekend's box-office crown from Disney's Beauty and the Beast, now entering its third frame.
Beauty took in $13 million for the day - putting it on track for a three-day gross of about $48 million - as its domestic gross crossed the $360 million mark.
As for the weekend's other new wide release, Paramount's Scarlett Johansson-starrer Ghost in the Shell roped in $1.8 million at its Thursday night showings and took in $7.7 million on Friday (including its Thursday night coin) and is looking at a weekend launch of about $20 million.
DWA's The Boss Baby opened in 3,773 theaters. The PG-rated, CG-animated movie stars Alec Baldwin, who voices the character of a business-minded bossy baby who is on a secret mission. The film is based on the 2010 children's book written and illustrated by Marla Frazee. Tom McGrath directed the pic, which has a voice cast that also includes Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, Miles Christopher Bakshi and Tobey Maguire. The movie earned an A- CinemaScore, with moviegoers under 25 giving it a solid A.
Ghost in the Shell will lock up the third spot, ahead of holdovers Power Rangers and Kong: Skull Island, as it bows in 3,440 sites. It won't do the stellar numbers that Johansson's Lucy earned in 2014, when that pic took in $2.8 million in previews on its way to a $43.9 million domestic debut.
Johansson stars as a cyber-enhanced soldier heading a counter-terrorism unit as she tries to uncover her past in the stylish, futuristic film helmed by Rupert Sanders. Ghost is adapted from the Japanese manga by Shirow Masamune and also stars "Beat" Takeshi Kitano, Michael Carmen Pitt, Pilou Asbæk, Chin Han and Juliette Binoche.
The PG-13 sci-fi film cost $110 million and was produced by Paramount, DreamWorks and Reliance Entertainment. It also opens in more than 50 international markets this weekend and will bow in China on April 7.
Opening on a more limited basis as it debuted in 541 theaters, Focus' World War II drama The Zookeeper's Wife found a receptive audience. The PG-13-rated period pic, directed by NIki Caro, stars Jessica Chastain and revolves around how the keepers of the Warsaw Zoo saved the lives of both humans and animals. The film collected $1.03 million on Friday.
Among holdovers, Warner Bros. and Legendary's Kong: Skull Island, in its fourth weekend, took in $2.4 million for the day, bringing its domestic tally to $141.4 million.
March 31, 12:55 p.m.: Updated to include latest Friday estimates.
April 1, 8:05 a.m.: Updated to include final Friday estimates.