Beauty and the Beast charmed audiences across the world and made a new generation fall in love with Gabrielle de Villeneuve’s classic 18th century fairy tale, with a $357.1 million global debut. Disney followed on the success of recent live action reboots from its animation stable like Maleficent, The Jungle Book, Cinderella and Alice in Wonderland. Two young adult franchise powerhouses in director Bill Condon, who helmed the final two Twilight Saga movies, and Harry Potter star Emma Watson appearing as Belle were the main forces in creating the happy ending to this fable. Joining Watson were Downtown Abbey star Dan Stevens as the Beast, Kevin Kline as Belle’s father Maurice, Luke Evans as his overzealous antagonist Gaston, and Josh Gad as his probably gay sidekick Lefou. Even the supporting roles were filled with A-list names. Emma Thompson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci and Sir Ian McKellen were highlights from the cast of anthropomorphic household items, spending most of their onscreen time as animated candles, clocks, teapots and such. Beauty’s $175 million U.S. opening weekend was the biggest of all time for a PG rated film, and the sixth biggest domestic launch of all time. It was the biggest launch ever for a female led movie, beating The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’s $158.1 million first frame in 2014, and was the biggest debut ever for one of Disney’s live action adaptations of its animated catalog.
Overseas it gathered $182.3 million from 44 territories, including a record breaking $44.8 million in China. This was the studio’s biggest live action release in the Middle Kingdom to date, including its monstrous Star Wars and Marvel properties. Beauty and the Beast made $22.8 million in the UK, again breaking a national record for the biggest PG opening in history, and made $11.4 million in its third biggest market South Korea. It made a big $11.8 million in Mexico and an equally impressive $11 million in Brazil. German plays were worth $10.7 million. It made $7.6 million in Italy, the country’s biggest launch of 2017, while it’s Russian opening netted $6 million. Beauty’s Philippine launch was massive as well at $5.9 million, as was its $5.8 million Spanish debut. It lands in key markets France and Australia next weekend, with Disney stronghold Japan slated for mid-April.
Only one new film braved Disney’s box-office onslaught in the U.S. and Canada. Blumhouse’s The Belko Experiment, directed by Greg McLean and released by the niche studio’s in-house indie arm BH Tilt, tells the gruesome story of prisoners forced to massacre each other in a Colombian prison. It made $4.1 million at the U.S. market off of a $5 million production and will very likely go on to be another win for the unnaturally profitable horror studio.
Still in the U.S. Kong: Skull Island dropped into second with $27.8 million and a $109 million local cume. Overseas it collected $38.5 million, for a global gross of $260 million. Logan finished third with $17.8 million and reached $184.3 million, for a global gross of over $ 524 million Jordan Peele’s Get Out added $13.4 million, taking it to a four-week cume of $133.3 million for the first time director.
Next weekend we’ll try to keep up with Beauty and the Beast and see how much Power Rangers, Life or Chips can slow it down.
See the latest box office numbers: