'Boss Baby,' "Beauty & Beast' outshine Smurfs this weekend at movie theaters"

'Boss Baby,'

'Boss Baby,' "Beauty & Beast' outshine Smurfs this weekend at movie theaters"

"The Boss Baby", starring Alec Baldwin as the voice of a toddler trying to thwart an evil CEO, led the North American box office for a second straight weekend, outdrawing several new releases including a fresh "Smurfs" picture.

Either way, it was a mistake for Sony Pictures to choose this particular release date for The Lost Village when we still have Twentieth Century Fox's The Boss Baby continuing its reign while Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast is still going strong weeks after its initial release.

New Line's launch of senior-citizen heist comedy "Going in Style" is following in fourth with about $12.1 million at 3,061 sites - well above recent expectations, which had forecast a quiet finish around $8 million.

Disney's fourth weekend of "Beauty and the Beast" will finish a close second with about $25.2 million at 4,210 venues in what will be the 10th-highest fourth weekend of all time.

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Featuring the voices of Demi Lovato and Joe Manganiello, the Smurfs movie reportedly cost $60 million (£48.4 million) to make. 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" is Sony's third film in the franchise about blue humanoids living in mushroom-shaped houses. Its earnings were worse than the 2013 opening of "Smurfs 2", which went on to gross $347.5 million worldwide despite a $17.5 million debut and a heftier $105 million price tag. Staggering along slowly behind it is, yes, you guessed it, Ghost in the Shell, with only $7.3 million to add to its $31.6 million domestic total. For all of Ghost in the Shell's visual wonderment, and there are some inarguably fantastic sequences in the film, the movie just doesn't work on the whole, thanks to a deeply problematic script and a general disinterest in actually talking about the future of robotics, AI, and the possibility of technological overload.

"The Case for Christ", from a distributor of Christian-themed movies, opened with sales of $3.9 million, compared with forecasts of $3.5 million to $4.3 million.

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.

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