The Japanese manga adaptation topped the foreign box office this weekend, taking in a leading $41.3 million from 46 markets. That brings the science-fiction adventure’s global haul to $124.4 million, a disappointing result given its $110 million production budget and the tens of millions spent marketing and distributing the picture. Some publications are conservatively estimating that “Ghost in the Shell” will end its run $60 million in the hole.
Paramount, Reliance, and DreamWorks backed the picture, which stars Scarlett Johansson as a cyber warrior. “Ghost in the Shell” did get a boost from China, where it opened to $21.4 million. Japanese audiences were less receptive. The film debuted to a modest $3.2 million. “Ghost in the Shell” received a social media shellacking for the producers’ decision to cast Johansson in a role originally written for an Asian performer.
DreamWorks Animation and Fox’s “The Boss Baby” nabbed second place on the charts, picking up $37.5 million across 46 markets. The family film stars Alec Baldwin as a suit-wearing tyke whose entrance on the scene sparks sibling rivalry. Globally, the film has earned $199.7 million. It is playing particularly well in the United Kingdom, where it grossed $9.9 million and topped ticket sales.
Sony’s “Smurfs: The Lost Village” and Warner Bros.’ “Kong: Skull Island” rounded out the top five, earning $22 million and $16 million, respectively. The latest Smurfs movie is struggling at the box office. It stumbled domestically, opening to a paltry $14.1 million, and needs overseas markets to compensate for the weak stateside results. “Kong: Skull Island,” a King Kong reboot that transposes the ape king to the Vietnam War, has earned a solid $534.3 million worldwide.
Next weekend brings “The Fate of the Furious,” the eighth installment in “The Fast & the Furious” franchise. The action-adventure will cast a shadow over the global box office when it opens in nearly every major market.