DreamWorks Animation's The Boss Baby proved to be the boss, all right. The Fox release grabbed an estimated $49 million over its debut weekend, unseating Disney's Beauty and the Beast to take the top spot at the domestic box office.
Boss Baby just managed to edge out Beauty, which collected another $47.5 million during its third weekend as its domestic gross rose to $395.5 million.
The news wasn't so upbeat for the weekend's other new wide release, Paramount's futuristic thriller Ghost in the Shell, starring Scarlett Johansson. Based on a Japanese manga, the film, which became the poster child for whitewashing when Johansson was cast in the central role of a cyber-soldier, grossed an underwhelming $19 million as it settled into the third spot in the rankings.
On the international front, Beauty led all its competitors as it assembled $66.5 million from 56 territories, bringing its international total to $480.8 million as its global purse heads toward the $900 million mark with $876.2 million to date.
Boss Baby, which opened in 3,773 theaters, performed well above expectations that had pegged the movie as doing $30 million-plus for the three days. 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 to ensure babies get more love than puppies. 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 including Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, Miles Christopher Bakshi and Tobey Maguire.
Boss Baby earned an A- CinemaScore, with moviegoers under 25 giving it a solid A. Families made up 67 percent of its audience, and it played to a diverse crowd - 53 percent of the audience was white; 19 percent Hispanic; 14 percent African-American and 9 percent Asian.
Internationally, Boss Baby has taken in $59 million to date, bringing its worldwide total to $108 million. For the weekend frame, it ranked third in foreign markets with $36.2 million from 35 territories.
On the domestic front, it was the best opening for a DreamWorks movie since 2015's friendly-alien picture Home, which bowed to $52 million and went on to pull in $177.4 million domestically and $386 million globally.
Ghost proved to be a shadow of Johansson's last solo acting outing, Lucy, which debuted to $43.9 million in 2014. Helmed by Rupert Sanders, the new film was 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 opened in more than 53 international markets over the weekend, ranking second internationally as it collected $40.1 million for a global tally of $59.1 million. Ghost is set to open in Japan and China on Friday.
The pic appealed to an older, male audience, with men comprising 61 percent of opening-weekend ticket buyers and 76 percent of the audience being over the age of 25.
Bowing on a more limited basis as it debuted in 541 theaters, Focus' World War II drama The Zookeeper's Wife found a receptive audience, attracting $3.3 million for a per-theater average of $6,191 and securing a foothold in the top 10 with a tenth-place showing. The PG-13-rated period film, which attracted an older, female audience, stars Jessica Chastain and was directed by Niki Caro and revolves around how the keepers of the Warsaw Zoo saved the lives of both humans and animals. It will expand into additional theaters on Friday.
Among holdovers, Lionsgate's Power Rangers dropped by 65 percent in its second weekend, grossing $14.5 million to bring its domestic total to $65.1 million as it took the fourth spot.
In its fourth weekend, Warner Bros. and Legendary's Kong: Skull Island ranked fifth as it took in $8.8 million, bringing its domestic tally to $147.8 million. Internationally, the film ranked fourth for the weekend, as it pulled in $34.6 million in 68 territories and its worldwide total grew to $477.3 million.
Fox's Logan checked in at sixth place with $6.2 million and a domestic cume of $211.9 million, while in seventh place Universal's Get Out claimed another $5.8 million as its domestic tally grew to $156.9 million.
The results weren't encouraging for two other holdovers. In its second week, Sony's Life managed just $5.6 million for a domestic cume of $22.4 million, and Warners' CHIPS managed just $4.1 million for a total of $14.4 million.
April 2, 11:20 a.m.: Updated to include international grosses.