'Beauty and the Beast' enchants S. Korean box office

If it goes along with the trajectory of last year's live action remake The Jungle Book, it's looking at a new March opening weekend record of $168.5 million.

Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" smashed box office records in its opening three-day weekend, taking in an unexpected $170 million, according to industry estimates.

This will make Beauty And The Beast's opening weekend either the sixth or seventh all-time most successful, depending on whether or not it will surpass Iron Man 3's figure of $174.1 million.

Abroad, Beauty made $180 million in 44 markets, bringing it to a $350 million total on weekend No. 1.

That jumps the previous record holder, "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice", which opened to $166 million a year ago. "Count me as one who will urge family, church members and friends to reject Disney's live-action movie production of 'Beauty and the Beast'". The company has already announced remakes of The Lion King, Aladdin, and The Little Mermaid, and probably has others in the works that are still waiting to be announced.

"Nostalgia is a very powerful driver for these films", said Dave Hollis, head of distribution for Disney.

"You see all the facets of the character, from the lovable rogue to the buffoon to the jealous, revengeful sort of monster that he becomes by the end of the movie". Trade Analyst Taran Adarsh shared, " What's noteworthy is, the opening weekend biz of #BeautyAndTheBeast is nearly three times higher than #Cinderella, #Moana and #Zootopia". Both movies opened in the mid-$60 million range.

It made US$13.2 million, bringing its gross to US$133.1 million.

Have you seen Beauty and the Beast yet?

Watson was a ideal Belle and shined in her role, and Stevens managed to make a computer generated image (CGI) Beast feel believable.

Director Bill Condon told Entertainment Weekly the four-minute number - featuring dancing dinnerware and trays of food - took over a year and a half to plan and put together, and cost more than the entire budget of his 2015 film "Mr. Holmes." The last domestic US debut of similar size was Captain America: Civil War, which came out in May 2016, grossing $179.1 million its opening weekend. Lionsgate's "The Shack" rounded out the top five, generating $6.1 million and pushing the faith-based drama's earnings to over $42.6 million.

  • Todd Kelly