'Beauty and the Beast' to Repeat at #1 Over 'Power Rangers', 'Life' and 'CHiPs'
SATURDAY AM UPDATE: Disney's Beauty and the Beast is looking at a monster second weekend, appearing as if it might outperform even the most optimistic expectations after it brought in an estimated $23.6 million on Friday. Disney is estimating a weekend in the low-to-mid $80s while rival studios estimate it may actually top $90 million, dropping less than 50% for a second weekend that will rank in the all-time top five as it pushes well over $300 million in just ten days.

Elsewhere, Lionsgate's Power Rangers is leading the weekend's new releases raking in nearly $15 million on Friday, heading toward a three-day opening in the low $40 millions. The film scored an "A" CinemaScore from opening day audiences, of which 30% were under the age of 18 and scored the film an "A+".

Sony's Life brought in an estimated $4.4 million heading toward a three-day weekend around $13 million while WB's CHiPs is performing mostly as expected, bringing in an estimated $2.6 million on Friday, heading toward a three-day around $7.6 million.

You can check out all of Friday estimates right here and we'll be back tomorrow morning with a complete look at the weekend estimates.

FRIDAY AM UPDATE: Lionsgate's Power Rangers led Thursday night previews last night, bringing in $3.6 million from 2,700 theaters with screenings beginning at 7PM. Based on the comparisons used in our weekend preview below, this is more than triple the $1.1 million The Maze Runner brought in on Thursday night before opening with $32.5 million, more than the $2.5 million G.I. Joe: Retaliation brought in from midnight screenings and more than the $2 million Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows brought in before opening with $35.3 million.

While we can never be quite sure just how much a film is going to make based on Thursday previews, a $40+ million opening for Power Rangers is already looking like a foregone conclusion. Question is, considering that preview gross is just $100,000 behind what Kong: Skull Island brought in, is there a possibility it could actually challenge that film's $61 million debut? That seems unlikely, but it's worth the mention.

Life, from Columbia Pictures and Skydance, took in $800,000 from 2,627 Thursday showings starting at 7PM. This compares well to the $750k Chappie brought in on Thursday night before opening with $13.3 million and it's below the $900k Riddick brought in on Thursday and half the $1.6 million Elysium brought in from Thursday night screenings that began at 10PM.

CHiPs played in 2,400+ theaters last night and brought in $500,000 from screenings that began at 7PM. This is $60,000 less than Keanu brought in on Thursday night before opening with $9.4 million last April.

We'll be back tomorrow morning with a look at Friday estimates, you can read our weekend preview below.

WEEKEND PREVIEW: As has been the case over the last three weekends, this weekend is looking to outperform last year and, once again, by a significant margin. The big story, of course, is Disney's Beauty and the Beast as it continues to blow the doors off, becoming one of the fastest films to top $200 million at the domestic box office and, by the end of this weekend, will have topped $300 million in just ten days of release. In addition to Beauty and the Beast's second weekend, three new wide releases make their debut including Lionsgate's Power Rangers, Sony's R-rated sci-fi Life and WB's R-rated comedy CHiPs, all of which will have varying degrees of success as the top twelve should top a combined $180 million, making it the second largest weekend of the year.

As of Wednesday, Disney's Beauty and the Beast has brought in $217.6 million domestically and another $244.3 million internationally. This weekend it should drop around 56% or so for a second weekend around $76+ million as it pushes over $300 million domestically by Sunday. Internationally it opened in France yesterday, opens in Australia today and will debut in Japan in late April as it looks to become Disney's next billion dollar, worldwide earner. Last year Disney had four films top the billion dollar mark while The Jungle Book came up just over $33 million shy of the mark. This year the studio hopes to make it another year with four films fighting for supremacy atop the foreign charts as releases such as Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and, of course, Star Wars: The Last Jedi all have a shot at $1 billion worldwide along with Beauty and the Beast.

Looking at a second place finish is Lionsgate's release of Saban's Power Rangers. Carrying a budget right around $100 million, the newest adaptation of the "Power Rangers" television show is releasing in 3,693 theaters and industry expectations put the film's opening around $30-40 million. Along those lines online ticket retailer Fandango.com reported sales for the film were outpacing The Maze Runner, which opened with $32.5 million in September of 2014. Using the same comparison while looking at IMDb page views heading into release, Power Rangers was neck-and-neck with Maze Runner before surging ahead over the last couple of days. It is also outperforming films such as G.I. Joe: Retaliation and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, lending credence to our $36-42 million forecast for this weekend.

Next is Sony's R-rated sci-fi feature Life, which has been heavily marketed and will debut this weekend in 3.125 theaters. The film carries a $58 million budget and industry expectations at the beginning of the week were in the mid-teens, but all evidence we're looking at suggest that might be a bit low and an opening around $20 million might be in the offing.

As for comparisons, IMDb page views show Life pacing a bit behind films such as Elysium, Riddick and 2014's reboot of RoboCop, though it has recently pulled even. A bit concerning, however, is Life has been trailing Chappie, which debuted with $13.3 million in March of 2015, far and given the fact Chappie is more of an original property compared to sequels and reboots such as Riddick and RoboCop, it suggests a slightly softer opening may be in the offing. As a result, we're pulling back just a tad on our forecast, which might have otherwise been around $22 million, down to $18 million. That is, however, still enough for third place and we remain optimistic it might be able to hit that $22 million mark for the weekend.

WB's Kong: Skull Island should find its way into fourth place in its third weekend in release with about $14 million as it pushes toward $135 million domestically and Fox's Logan should finish in fifth with around $9 million or so as it looks to top $200 million by Sunday.

Expected to finish outside the top five is WB's release of CHiPs, a $25 million adaptation of the late '70s and early '80s television show. Written and directed by Dax Shepard who co-stars with Michael Pena, industry expectations for the R-rated comedy are right around $8 million.

In doing our own research, trying to find comparative titles for CHiPs has been a little difficult, though IMDb page view data shows it pacing behind the likes of The Nice Guys, Let's Be Cops and even The Brothers Grimsby at the same point in the release cycle. The closest comparison we could come up with is last year's Keanu, which opened with $9.4 million in late April and had far more buzz ahead of release than CHiPs has received and the 35 Metacritic score for CHiPs won't help any. As such we're looking at a weekend around $7-8 million from 2,464 theaters with a "best case scenario" currently around $11 million, which would put it around Reno 911!: Miami's opening back in 2007.

Elsewhere, we're expecting another $8 million or so for Universal's Get Out as it continues its run to $150 million domestically and rounding out the top ten should be WB's The LEGO Batman with around $2.5 million as it looks to top $170 million domestically by Sunday.

Looking beyond the top ten, we're not exactly sure what to expect from RiverRun's sports drama Slamma Jamma, which we're told is opening in ~500 theaters. Additionally, Fox Searchlight will release Wilson into 310 theaters and FIP is releasing Phillauri into 74 theaters.

This weekend's forecast is directly below. This post will be updated on Friday morning with Thursday night preview results followed by Friday estimates on Saturday morning, and a complete weekend recap on Sunday morning.

  • Beauty and the Beast (4,210 theaters) - $76.9 M
  • Power Rangers (3,693 theaters) - $38.0 M
  • Life (3,146 theaters) - $18.0 M
  • Kong: Skull Island (3,666 theaters) - $14.2 M
  • Logan (3,163 theaters) - $9.0 M
  • Get Out (2,468 theaters) - $8.1 M
  • CHiPs (2,464 theaters) - $7.0 M
  • The Shack (2,330 theaters) - $3.4 M
  • The Belko Experiment (1,341 theaters) - $2.6 M
  • The LEGO Batman Movie (1,638 theaters) - $2.3 M

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