Box Office: ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Waltzing to Huge $170M-Plus Opening
Director Bill Condon’s Beauty and the Beast is going gangbusters at the North American box office, waltzing to $63.8 million on Friday for a projected record-breaking weekend north of $170 million in another huge win for Disney’s growing stable of live-action fairy tale movies.
The update of the 1991 classic remake is destined to set a number of records, including the biggest start ever for a PG title (Finding Dory is the current champ with $135 million).
Beauty looks to pass up the $166 million domestic debut of last year’s Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice to land the top March opening of all time. The family friendly movie should boast one of the top 10 openings of all time, and the biggest outside of summer save for fellow 2015 December blockbuster, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, not accounting for inflation.
Friday’s tally is the largest single day for a PG movie, beating the 2009 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ($58 million). Beauty, playing in 4,210 theaters, skewed heavily female on Friday (72 percent), according to one polling service. Audiences gave the film an A CinemaScore.
The $160 million tentpole, produced by Mandeville Films, should see a nice boost from a full run in Imax theaters, generally known as a haven for fanboys, and not families.
Beauty is also opening around the world and should earn at least $100 million overseas. It took in a strong $11.5 million on its opening day, debuting as the No. 1 film in all but one market (Slovakia, where it was the No. 1 non-local film). It is also doing well in Russia, despite a restrictive rating slapped on the film after Condon recently revealed that Gad’s character, Gaston’s sidekick, is gay.
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Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: Disney
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