Beauty and the Beast' breaks records with $170-million debut

Jay Jacobs
March 21, 2017

In its opening weekend, Disney latest live-action remake, "Beauty and the Beast", roared to the box office top spot this weekend (March 19), bringing in an estimated 170 million dollars in tickets sales.

A live-action Mulan is set for November 2018, and that's just the tip of the animated iceberg.

Disney's strategy of making old animated movies into live-action remakes are paying off well.

Just a year ago, Batman v Superman set a record for the most amount of money grossed for the opening weekend of a March release - domestic totals only. "It is the next phase of what Disney would like to do with their live-action sequels to their animated classics", the source added.

This places the Disney hit just above last year's Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, which previously held the title for biggest March opening with a gross of $166 million. "There was a nostalgia for the original and the Disney brand". The actor also has a supporting turn playing Lumiere, a candlestick, in "Beauty and the Beast". "You have to ultimately make these movies great".

Character LeFou, played by Josh Gad, is the sidekick to the story's villain Gaston and "is confused about his sexuality", according to director Condon.

Though many applauded the character's subtle twist as overdue progress, some derided it.

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The scene was described as Disney's first "gay moment" and suffered a backlash in countries like Malaysia and Russian Federation.

None of that dragged down the movie's massive opening. The picture also brought in $180 million internationally.

As for what that means for the future, Beauty and the Beast will nearly undoubtedly be the first $1 billion film of 2017.

"As quote-unquote controversies go, this was a real tempest in a teapot", Dergarabedian said. "But it is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie". "I don't think that was going to dissuade anyone except the most narrow-minded from seeing this film". The last 16-pages also combine to form lyrics and corresponding imagery from the song, "Beauty and the Beast".

Other studios stayed clear of the Disney juggernaut. The King Kong relaunch has thus far earned $110.1 million domestically.

Universal's horror film "Get Out" (taking $133.1 million in four weeks) followed next, with Lionsgate's "The Shack" ranking fifth at a three-week total of $42.6 million. "The Belko Experiment" opened in 1,341 locations, roughly a third of the theater count for a major studio offerings. Giving rides a Hollywood treatise would make the rides more popular.

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