Ghost in the Shell sinks while The Boss Baby soars at the Box Office

Johansson’s $40 million budget Lucy had a better opening weekend in the US

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The Independent Culture

Ghost in the Shell may star one of Hollywood’s best-known actors, but Scarlet Johansson has failed to bring high numbers of Americans to the cinema.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the live-action adaptation took just $19 million over the first weekend in the US, falling way behind newcomer Boss Baby, which had a $49 million three-day gross. Ghost in the Shell - which has a $110 million budget - managed a $7.6 million Friday while the animated film topped with $15.6 million.

While $19 million is nothing to be scoffed at, the newly rebooted Power Rangers managed to take over $40 million last weekend. Also for comparison, Johansson’s $40 million budget Lucy - also a science fiction action flick - managed to take $43.8 million on its first weekend.

Worldwide, Johansson's sci-fi flick took an additional $40 million (it still hasn't opened in China or Japan), coming in number two behind Boss Baby, which managed $59 million overseas.

The audience that made up Boss Baby were primarily families: 76 per cent of Ghost in the Shell's audience were aged over 25, with 61 per cent being men. 

Analysts have pointed to Ghost and the Shell’s reviews as being one of the reasons for the low turnout: having been well reviewed by many UK outlets - including four stars from The Observer and Telegraph - American journalists have been much harsher, bringing the Rotten Tomatoes score down to 42 per cent. Boss Baby has a 49 per cent rating, but that’s relatively standard for family orientated films.

There’s also the ‘whitewashing’ controversy that has been much discussed, many people having issues with Johansson being cast as The Major. However, while an important issue, these controversies often have little impact on viewers, as proven by Iron Fist reportedly being one of Netflix’s most binged shows.

Whether Ghost in the Shell will hold up overseas remains to be seen. The film is currently playing in cinemas across the UK.