'Beauty and the Beast' fans have a ball at the drive

Posted March 20, 2017

It enchanted United Kingdom audiences to become highest-grossing three-day opening weekend of all-time for a PG movie with $22.8 million, while China opened to an estimated $44.8 million, making it the biggest ever Disney live-action opening weekend of all-time and representing a strong 67% market share.

According to studio estimates, it blew past Finding Dory, which was the previous record-holder for G- or PG-rated releases after it debuted with $135m (£108m) a year ago. The previous March record-holder for an opening weekend at the box office was Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, which opened at $166 million past year. It seems Beauty and the Beast has outdone itself, besting all projections for a record-breaking $170 million box office estimate.

Theater owner Jim Kopp said the drive-in held a similar event in 2015, when Disney released a live-action remake of "Cinderella".

The monster ape movie's domestic haul now stands at a not inconsiderable $110.1 million and $259 million worldwide.

Internationally, "Beauty and Beast" placed No.1 nearly everywhere. Beauty and The Beast does a phenomenal job of producing the nostalgia of a movie many loved as children while also introducing more romantic scenes.

Last week's top film, Warner Bros.' "Kong: Skull Island", slid to second place with $28.9 million. Directed by Bill Condon, known for The Twilight Saga and the musical Dreamgirls, the new film is well on its way to following in its predecessor's history-making footsteps.

The latest to get the Mouse House makeover is Beauty and the Beast, which released last Friday with an all-star cast led by Emma Watson, 26, who grew up playing Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films. Depending on how the final numbers shake out, the move will be 6th or 7th biggest opening of all time, behind or in front of Iron Man 3's $174.1 million.

Horror film Get Out and The Shack round out the new top five in fourth and fifth place, respectively. The picture also brought in US$180 million internationally.

It looks like, once again, Disney is the studio to beat at the box office this year. The animated classic finished up with $145.9m at the United States box office during it's 1991 release.