Beauty and the Beast Opening Weekend Breaks March Box Office Records

Emma Watson as Belle in Beauty and the Beast

Disney’s live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast roared into theaters this past weekend with sky-high expectations. The reviews have been mixed, but that's done nothing to quell fan excitement, with pre-release sales the biggest ever for a family film.

It was thus projected to make big numbers over its opening weekend, and a strong Friday opening saw it leap past returning competition Logan and Kong: Skull Island. Now the final weekend numbers are in and they're just as seismic as expected.

As reported by Variety, Beauty and the Beast dominated the box office in its opening weekend, nailing its projected total with a staggering $170 million in U.S. theaters and grossing $350 million worldwide. The U.S. total is the highest opening weekend ever for a March release, edging out Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’s $166 million opening a year ago. However, its $350 million worldwide opening finished second to the DCEU film's hefty $424.1 million global haul.

Beauty and the Beast poster

Other films gave admirable numbers, if nothing to halt the tale as old as time. Kong: Skull Island finished in second place with $28.8 million after winning the box office in its opening weekend, while Logan, which set box office records of its own as an R-rated comic book film, continued to perform well with $17.5 million in third place, reaching an impressive domestic total of $184 million.

Beauty and the Beast’s huge opening weekend has already eclipsed the film’s $160 million production budget, which is likely to be shattered by the time its run in theaters is done. It’s worth noting that the film is unlikely to experience the same kind of steep drop-off that occurred with the critically panned, polarizing Batman v Superman; quickly fizzling out after a massive head start, Dawn of Justice's $873 million worldwide total barely doubled its opening weekend.

The remake appears to have particularly strong global appeal. Dominating international markets as well as the U.S., it won the box office in China, the U.K., South Korea, Germany, and Italy. It even had a good opening weekend in Russia, where the film is embroiled in controversy over the inclusion of a gay character, and has yet to open in France, Australia, and Japan.

These numbers and an "A" Cinemascore give the film a strong chance to challenge for $1 billion worldwide. Even if the film isn’t quite the best of Disney's recent adaptations, it definitely has a chance to be the most successful.

Source: Variety [1, 2]

Next: Beauty & The Beast: Disney Easter Eggs & Trivia

Key Release Dates
  • Beauty and the Beast (2017) release date: Mar 17, 2017
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