Box Office: 'Boss Baby' stays in charge, edging 'Beauty and the Beast'

In a tight battle, animated comedy "The Boss Baby" is again edging "Beauty and the Beast" with about $26.6 million at the pre-Easter weekend box office in North America, estimates showed Saturday.

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. The North American haul for the live-action blockbuster will wind up at around $432.5 million. That's just behind "E.T. — The Extraterrestrial" for the 14th spot on the all-time list.

Sony's opening of the animated family film "Smurfs: The Lost Village" is heading for third with about $14.5 million at 3,610 locations. The film received an A+ CinemaScore from the under 18 demographic and A overall, giving hope that the blue creatures will show some holding power during final weeks of spring break.

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. Reviews have been mixed with a 43% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes but the budget for the reboot, starring Alan Arkin, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman, is a modest $25 million.

See photos from "The Boss Baby" premiere:

"The Boss Baby" grossed $6.9 million Friday while "Beauty and the Beast" charmed its way to $6.8 million. "Going in Style" took in $4.2 million on Friday, edging "Smurfs: The Lost Village" with $4.1 million.

Paramount's second weekend of "Ghost in the Shell" is fading fast in fifth with about $7.1 million at 3,440 venues — a 62% decline from the disappointing opening weekend for the action fantasy, based on a popular Japanese manga. Blowback from the casting of Scarlett Johansson in the lead role, rather than an Asian actress, appears to have held down ticket sales.

Liosngate's third weekend of "Power Rangers" will finish sixth with about $6.2 million, followed by the fifth frame of "Kong: Skull Mountain" with around $5.6 million — pushing the giant ape's take to $156 million. "Kong: Skull Island" crossed the $500 million worldwide mark earlier this week for Warner Bros., Legendary and Tencent.

Pure Flix's opening of faith-based "The Case for Christ" is performing in line with estimates and should wind up in eighth place with a respectable $4.5 million at 1,135 sites.

"The Boss Baby," produced by DreamWorks Animation, has been a surprise success so far with a $50 million launch weekend — one of the best ever for a comedy opening in the first quarter. It will wind up this weekend with nearly $90 million in its first 10 days.

"Smurfs: The Lost Village" is Sony's third film in the franchise about blue humanoids living in mushroom-shaped houses. The studio's live action-CGI "The Smurfs" grossed $563.7 million globally in 2011, followed by 2013's "The Smurfs 2," which made $347.5 million worldwide on a $105 million budget. "The Lost Village" was shot entirely CGI and carries a $60 million budget.

See photos from the "Smurfs" premiere:

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