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Box office hits and misses: ‘Beauty and the Beast’ sets new opening weekend record

Beauty and the Beast Emma Watson
Disney Movie Studios
It was a fairy tale weekend for Beauty and the Beast, Disney’s latest live-action adaptation of one of the studio’s beloved animated features.

The film, which stars Harry Potter franchise actress Emma Watson, raked in a massive $170 million in U.S. theaters over the weekend and broke a long list of box-office records. Among the movie’s most notable achievements was setting a new opening-weekend record for “G” and “PG”-rated films (topping the $135 million debut for last year’s Finding Dory) and setting the new record for March premieres by beating Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

The U.S. premiere of Beauty and the Beast also now ranks as the seventh best opening weekend of all time, settling in between the $174.1 million opening for 2013’s Iron Man 3 and the $169.1 million debut for another film featuring Watson: 2011’s franchise-ending Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.

After just one weekend in theaters, Beauty and the Beast is this year’s second-highest-grossing film domestically after Logan ($184 million as of this weekend) and the third-highest-grossing movie worldwide in 2017 after Logan ($524.1 million) and Fifty Shades Darker ($374.2 million).

# Title Weekend U.S. Total Worldwide Total
1. Beauty and the Beast $170M $170M $350M
2. Kong: Skull Island $28.8M $110.1M $259.3M
3. Logan $17.5M $184M $524M
4. Get Out $13.2M $133.1M $136M
5. The Shack $6.1M $42.6M $43M
6. The Lego Batman Movie $4.7M $167.4M $287.4M
7. The Belko Experiment $4M $4M $4M
8. Hidden Figures $1.5M $165.5M $214.2M
9. John Wick: Chapter Two $1.2M $89.7M $158M
10. Before I Fall $1M $11.2M $11.2M

At this point, it’s only a matter of time until Beauty and the Beast becomes the highest-grossing film of the year, but how long it will remain so in a year packed with so many high-profile releases is the real question.

As for the rest of the week’s new releases, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn’s violent thriller The Belko Experiment earned enough for a seventh-place finish with a respectable $4 million debut in just 1,341 theaters — averaging out to more than $3,000 per theater. For reference, Logan and Get Out earned $4,400 and $4,700, respectively, per theater over the weekend — so the numbers for Belko, which only cost $5 million to make — aren’t all that bad.

Despite having a decent amount of buzz around it, Trainspotting 2 only screened in five theaters for its opening weekend, and while its $36,000 per-theater average was good, it wasn’t going to crack the top ten. It did earn positive reviews from critics, however, and a wider release is almost certainly on the horizon.

As for the rest of the weekend’s films, the aforementioned Logan and Get Out continued to stay strong near the top of the box-office numbers. Although it finished in second place, last week’s winner Kong: Skull Island is still in tough position to cover its hefty price tag, and will likely need a long run to turn the sort of profit the studio is hoping for from the film.

This upcoming week features a few big releases, including the live-action reboot of the Power Rangers franchise on the big screen. It will be interesting to see how powerful of a force nostalgia will be for Power Rangers, and whether there’s still enough demand for the franchise among modern audiences.

Also hitting theaters this week is the sci-fi thriller Life, starring Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhaal, as well as the raunchy comedy CHIPS, based on the television series of the same name.

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