Disney's blockbuster musical Beauty and the Beast is primed to cross the $1 billion mark at the worldwide box office Wednesday. Released March 17, the live-action update of the 1991 animated classic was a smash out of the gate, grossing nearly $175 million domestically and doubling that amount in foreign territories for a staggering global take of $350 million in its first weekend. Budgeted at $160 million, the film will likely become Disney's biggest animation to live-action film remake to date, following the successful remakes or updates of such classic properties as Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent, Cinderella and The Jungle Book.
Beauty's success is nothing new for the Mouse House, which had a record-shattering 2016. The studio saw a number of their projects go on to become staggering box office smashes and had four blockbusters cross the $1 billion plateau. Given the prowess of Beauty and the Beast, it was only a matter of time before the remake joined those ranks, and now it's become the latest member of a club that's not as exclusive as it once was.
According to Variety, Disney reported that Beauty and the Beast grossed a total of $9.7 million Tuesday to lift its worldwide box office tally to $993.2 million ($435.9 million domestically, $557.3 million internationally). If the film keeps its momentum and does similar business Wednesday, it will cross the $1 billion landmark worldwide. By doing so, Beauty and the Beast will be the 29th movie all-time to cross $1 billion. The last movie to cross $1 billion was Disney's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which hit the landmark total in January – just a month after its release.
Variety says Beauty and the Beast's biggest audience outside of North America is in China, where the film has earned $83.5 million to date. It's also earned $75.3 million in the U.K. and $36.7 million in Brazil. Despite finishing second to Fox/DreamWorks' The Boss Baby domestically the last two weekends after holding the top slot for two weeks, Beauty and the Beast is showing no signs of slowing down. Plus, the film has yet to open in Japan, where it will makes its debut April 21.
There's no telling where Beauty and the Beast will end up when all is said and done with its theatrical frame, but the Emma Watson star vehicle has a long way to go to beat the all-time box office champ Avatar. Released in 2009, the James Cameron-helmed blockbuster still holds the record with a total worldwide gross of nearly $2.8 billion. Whatever the case may be, Disney will have plenty of opportunities to give Avatar a run for its money in the future with the revival of its classic properties, including Jon Favreau's live-action remake of The Lion King, which is set to go into production this spring.