By Pamela McClintock, The Hollywood Reporter
In another box-office blow for Sony, Smurfs: The Lost Village bombed in its North American debut with an estimated $14 million from 3,610 theaters, one of the worst starts in recent memory for an animated offering from a major Hollywood studio.
Smurfs 3 was undone by a pair of hearty family holdovers, DreamWorks Animation/Fox’s The Boss Baby and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
Boss Baby — voiced by Alec Baldwin, who is making headlines for his impersonation of President Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live, plus his new book — stayed atop the chart in its second weekend, falling 48 percent to $26.3 million for a pleasing domestic total of $89.4 million.
Now in its fourth weekend, Beauty and the Beast followed at No. 2 with $25 million for a domestic tally of $432.3 million. The live-action fairy tale is days away from jumping the $1 billion mark globally after finishing Sunday with a dazzling global haul of $977.4 million.
Smurfs: The Lost Village, placing No. 3, was intended to reinvigorate the franchise after Smurfs 2 earned $347.5 million worldwide in 2013, far less than the $563.7 million global tally scored by The Smurfs in 2011 (the first two titles were CGI/live-action hybrids). Lost Village, costing a reported $60 million to make, will have to do huge business overseas if Sony is to get its wish.
Sony maintains that Lost Village can still find its way, thanks to spring break and the upcoming Easter holiday. Also, the movie earned an A CinemaScore.
The new film centers on a mysterious map that sets Smurfette (Demi Lovato) and her friends Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty on a race through the Forbidden Forest leading to the discovery of the biggest secret in Smurf history. Rainn Wilson, Joe Manganiello and Jack McBrayer are among the voice cast. Kelly Asbury (Gnomeo & Juliet) directed.
In a surprise twist, Village Roadshow and Warner Bros.’ Going in Style — catering to the elderly set — came in well ahead of expectations with $12.5 million.
Directed by Zach Braff, the $25 million movie is a remake of the 1979 heist film and stars Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin as three retirees who decide to rob a bank when their pensions go belly-up. Ann-Margret and Matt Dillon also star in Going in Style, which had been expected to open to $8 million. The movie, coming in No. 4, received a B+ CinemaScore.
The weekend’s third new nationwide offering, The Case for Christ, placed No. 8 with just $3.4 million. The faith-based drama, from Pure Flix Films, tells the real-life story of a self-avowed atheist and journalist who sets out to disprove his wife’s newfound Christian faith. Nabbing an A+ CinemaScore, Case for Christ stars Mike Vogel, Erika Christensen, Faye Dunaway and Robert Forster.
At the specialty box office, Niki Caro’s The Zookeeper’s Wife expanding into a total of 804 theaters after a limited debut last weekend. The Focus Features film, starring Jessica Chastain, grossed a muted $2.9 million for a 10-day domestic total of $7.6 million.
Colossal, starring Anne Hathaway as a woman who battles a Godzilla-like creature in South Korea, opened in four theaters in New York and Los Angeles, grossing an estimated $130,000 for a screen average of $32,500, the best of the weekend. The independent film marks the first release from Neon, the distribution company launched by former Radius-TWC co-chief Tomas Quinn and Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim League.
Fox Searchlight opted for a bigger footprint for Gifted, directed by Marc Webb and starring Chris Evans, Mckenna Grace and Octavia Spencer. Rolling out in 56 locations, the drama opened to $476,000.
STX Entertainment’s critically acclaimed British romantic comedy Their Finest, starring Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin and Bill Nighy, debuted to $77,000 from four theaters in L.A. and New York for a screen average of $19,250.