'Beauty & the Beast' Breaks Box Office Records With $170 Million
"'Beauty and the Beast' is the latest example of Disney's perfectly executed strategy of going to their animation vaults, dusting off a classic and reinventing it as a modern live-action movie", said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScore.
Following the live-action version of "The Jungle Book" earning close to $1 billion worldwide a year ago, the studio looks to have another cash cow in the making with "Beauty and the Beast" breaking the record for the biggest opening weekend ever for March with an estimated $170 million, according to Variety.
Disney also set a new record for the biggest IMAX opening for a PG-rated film, grossing $21 million worldwide ($12.5 million domestic) from 1,026 IMAX screens. It follows previous remakes such as Cinderella, Maleficent and last year's The Jungle Book. But the anticipation for Disney's remake of the 1991 Best Picture nominated classic has pushed "Beauty" well past that, setting a new record on Fandango for family film pre-sales.
The film, which stars Emma Watson and Dan Stevens in the title roles, scored another $180 million internationally.
Director Bill Condon's adaptation of the 1992 animated film sticks largely to the original tale and score while adding additional songs and scenes for a contemporary audience.
Kong: Skull Island managed to only slip around 50% under Beauty and the Beast's weight, cranking past the $100 million mark on its second weekend out, ending at $110 million.
The blockbuster, starring Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson and Samuel Jackson, cost $25 million more to make than Beauty at $185 million. The movie, distributed by BH Tilt, tells the story of a group of people forced to participate in a game of kill or be killed.