Paramount's Scarlett Johansson-starrer Ghost in the Shell roped in $1.8 million, while animated film The Boss Baby earned $1.5 million in Thursday previews.
Both Ghost and The Boss Baby are likely to place behind holdover Beauty and the Beast, Disney's live-action hit that has been breaking records and raking in tickets sales for the past two weeks. Already having earned north of $342 million domestically and $750 million worldwide, the Emma Watson-starring fairytale has placed No. 1 for two consecutive weeks and could take in another $40 million domestically this weekend.
Ghost in the Shell is tracking for a domestic debut in the mid-$20-million range as it opens in 3,440 sites. It won't do the stellar numbers that Johansson's Lucy earned in 2014 when it took in $2.8 million in previews on its way to a $43.9 million domestic debut. Paramount is offering up 10 Cloverfield Lane as a comp, which earned $1.8 million Thursday for a $24.7 million opening weekend.
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. The story 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 open in China on April 7.
DreamWorks Animation's The Boss Baby, which Fox is releasing, is tracking to collect around $30 million in its domestic debut. The PG-rated, CG-animated movie about a bossy baby (voiced by Alec Baldwin) who is on a secret mission is based on the 2010 children's book written and illustrated by Marla Frazee.
Tom McGrath directed the film, which has a voice cast that also includes Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, Miles Christopher Bakshi and Tobey Maguire.