Disney was the Belle of the ball this weekend, as their live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast broke several records with its estimated $170.0 million opening.
Disney has found box office success with their live-action remakes or reimaginings of classic animated films but this one dominated them all, arriving 64.6 percent above the $103.2 million opening of The Jungle Book and 46.4 percent ahead of the $116.1 million debut of Alice in Wonderland. Beauty also captures the highest March opening weekend of all time, even adjusted for inflation, overtaking last year’s $166.0 million from Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Beauty also captures the seventh-biggest opening weekend of all time by pure dollars, behind 2013’s Iron Man 3 and above 2011’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. Adjusted for inflation, that’s a still-impressive 13th-highest weekend of all time, after 2002’s Spider-Man and above the aforementioned Batman v. Superman. The title also captures the 20th highest per-theater average all time for a wide release when adjusted for inflation, with $40,380 earned per screen, just below The Dark Knight Rises and just above The Twilight Saga: New Moon.
[Read our interview with Beauty the Beast producers Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman here.]
The film, about an 18th-century French woman taken prisoner by a prince-turned-monster in a castle, stars Emma Watson and Dan Stevens in the title roles. It received an “A” CinemaScore from an audience that was 60 percent female, which if anything might have been a surprisingly low figure; compare that to the 70 percent female audience for the Fifty Shades Darker opening in February. The audience was also 52 percent below age 25.
The film started with an estimated $63.7 million on Friday, including $16.3 million from Thursday night shows. That means the film performed better than expected across the entire weekend, relative to the weekend-to-Thursday ratios for some comparable films including Cinderella, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay. Beauty then declined an estimated 1.6 percent on Saturday to $62.7 million, and is projected to drop 30.7 percent on Sunday to $43.4 million.
This places the film’s opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.66 to 1, a more frontloaded sum than for comparable Disney live-action films, including the 2.84 for Alice in Wonderland, 2.85 for Maleficent [a reimagining of Sleeping Beauty], 2.95 for Cinderella, and 3.22 for The Jungle Book. This potentially indicates that the film might not hold up as well going forward as those films did, although with such a massive opening Beauty should still almost certainly end up as the box office leader among those titles.
Believe it or not, there were also some other movies in release this weekend.
Last weekend’s leader, Warner Bros.’ Kong: Skull Island took in an estimated $28.8 million for second place, a 52.7 percent decline. The film has now earned $110.1 million through two weekends, which is 25.7 percent below the $148.2 million earned by Godzilla and 24.8 percent behind the inflation-adjusted $146.5 million earned by 2005’s King Kong through the same point.
Fox’s Logan took third place with an estimated $17.5 million, down 54.0 percent. With $184.0 million total through three weekends, the film is performing the best of the three Wolverine films, running 21.8 percent above the $150.9 million of X-Men Origins: Wolverine and 64.2 percent ahead of the $112.0 million of The Wolverine through the same point.
Universal’s horror Get Out continues to be one of the most unexpectedly successful hits of this decade, with a fourth place estimated $13.2 million weekend, a 36.3 percent drop. The title’s $133.0 million through four weekends is almost unprecedented for an original non-sequel horror release, having overtaken the final gross of every Paranormal Activity installment, every Purge installment, and likely to overtake Split at some point later this week.
The one other film that dared to open against Beauty and the Beast was the exact opposite thematically: BH Tilt’s horror action thriller The Belko Experiment, which opened in seventh place with an estimated $4.0 million. The film is about an office in which a disembodied voice on the intercom commands coworkers to kill each other or else be killed themselves.
The movie’s targeted marketing set a deliberately low-to-mid-sized release of 1,341 theaters, selected by the studio because they were frequented by horror fans. The low-budget release was aiming for a $4 million release, according to the studio earlier this week, a target they matched. By contrast, BH Tilt’s two previous films released under a similar marketing strategy failed to reach their openings goals: January’s The Resurrection of Gavin Stone started with $1.2 million with a $3 million target, and December’s Incarnate started with $2.5 million relative to another $3 million target.
Belko started with an estimated $1.5 million on Friday, improved an estimated 4.6 percent to $1.57 million on Saturday, and is projected to decline an estimated 37.5 percent to $981 thousand on Sunday. This places the film’s opening weekend to Friday ratio at an estimated 2.71 to 1.
And with an eighth place rank of an estimated $1.5 million, Fox’s Hidden Figures spends its 11th weekend in the top 10. Down by 45.6 percent, by far its steepest weekend percentage drop to date, the film nonetheless remains in that top tier. It’s only the fifth film in the past five years to spend at least 11 weekends in the top 10, along with La La Land, Zootopia, Frozen, and Silver Linings Playbook. With four new films opening next weekend, it’s uncertain whether Hidden Figures can continue the streak into the next frame.
The top 10 films this weekend earned an estimated cumulative $248.1 million. That’s 66.1 percent above the $ 149.3 million earned by the top 10 last weekend. It’s also more than double the $118.1 million earned by the top 10 on this weekend last year, when Zootopia led the box office for the second weekend with $51.3 million.
Sony’s long-awaited sequel T2: Trainspotting, coming two decades after the original 1990s classic, started with an estimated $180 thousand on five screens. (Although the top per-theater average in a given weekend usually goes to a limited or platform release, it actually went to Beauty this weekend.) The film has already earned $21 million and counting in its home country, the United Kingdom, for a $34 million overseas total.
CBS Films’ The Sense of an Ending expanded from four screens to 282, earning an estimated $475 thousand for the weekend.
Just as it was domestically, Beauty and the Beast absolutely dominated the overseas box office this weekend, starting with an estimated $180.0 million overseas. Its $350.0 million global opening weekend is superb — despite not even opening in France yet, where the film takes place.
Playing in 44 markets, the film took first place in 41 of them. Notable grosses included a $44.8 million opening in China, $22.8 million in the United Kingdom, $11.9 million in South Korea, $11.6 million in Mexico, $10.7 million in Germany, and $10.4 million in Brazil. In fact, in one weekend it already surpassed the entire runs of Alice in Wonderland and Maleficent in China.
Studio Weekend Estimates for Friday, March 17 – Sunday, March 19, 2017:
|1||Beauty and the Beast||$170,000,000||—||4,210||—||$40,380||$170,000,000||1||Disney|
|2||Kong: Skull Island||$28,850,000||-53%||3,846||0||$7,501||$110,125,294||2||Warner Bros.|
|5||The Shack||$6,130,000||-39%||2,825||-63||$2,170||$42,614,630||3||Lionsgate / Summit|
|6||The LEGO Batman Movie||$4,700,000||-38%||2,735||-568||$1,718||$167,423,352||6||Warner Bros.|
|7||The Belko Experiment||$4,070,000||—||1,341||—||$3,035||$4,070,000||1||BH Tilt|
|9||John Wick: Chapter 2||$1,200,000||-55%||1,065||-966||$1,127||$89,790,804||6||Lionsgate / Summit|
|10||Before I Fall||$1,034,425||-66%||1,551||-795||$667||$11,295,102||3||Open Road|
|2||La La Land||$530,000||-70%||585||-993||$906||$149,764,184||15||Lionsgate / Summit|
|4||Rogue One: A Star Wars Story||$503,000||140%||179||13||$2,810||$530,748,532||14||Disney|
|5||A Dog’s Purpose||$488,000||-55%||594||-428||$822||$62,943,030||8||Universal|
|6||The Sense Of An Ending||$475,000||1097%||282||278||$1,684||$527,597||2||CBS Films|
|7||Fifty Shades Darker||$467,000||-72%||607||-891||$769||$114,043,485||6||Universal|
|8||Fist Fight||$460,000||-65%||533||-752||$863||$31,537,748||5||Warner Bros. / New Line|
|9||Badrinath Ki Dulhania||$420,000||-51%||156||4||$2,692||$1,586,509||2||FIP|
|11||A United Kingdom||$320,000||-40%||257||-60||$1,245||$3,178,253||6||Fox Searchlight|
|13||The Great Wall||$300,000||-76%||439||-1153||$683||$44,757,640||5||Universal|
|16||Rock Dog||$242,000||-77%||444||-932||$545||$9,083,353||4||Summit Premiere|
|17||Table 19||$130,000||-85%||202||-666||$644||$3,505,156||3||Fox Searchlight|
|1||The Last Word||$191,294||134%||94||69||$2,035||$347,249||3||Bleeker Street|
|3||Personal Shopper||$158,515||100%||35||31||$4,529||$269,920||2||IFC Films|
|4||The Salesman||$105,593||-37%||72||-33||$1,467||$2,216,318||8||Cohen Media Group|
|6||Song To Song||$53,945||—||4||—||$13,486||$53,945||1||Broad Green Pictures|
|7||The Founder||$46,000||-7%||45||-12||$1,022||$12,650,304||9||Weinstein Company|
|8||Land of Mine||$41,814||-24%||38||-2||$1,100||$245,755||6||Sony Pictures Classics|
|10||My Life As A Zucchini||$27,234||-50%||38||-14||$717||$219,625||4||GKIDS|
|11||Manchester By the Sea||$24,300||-64%||47||-66||$517||$47,617,154||18||Roadside / Amazon|
|13||Frantz||$18,500||—||2||—||$9,250||$18,500||1||Music Box Films|
|14||Toni Erdmann||$18,369||-52%||21||-24||$875||$1,390,172||13||Sony Pictures Classics|
|15||Bitter Harvest||$17,870||-59%||21||-11||$851||$545,483||4||Roadside Attractions|
|16||The Red Turtle||$13,472||-55%||22||-20||$612||$787,712||9||Sony Pictures Classics|
|17||Donald Cried||$12,926||166%||17||13||$760||$31,536||3||The Orchard|
|18||Everybody Loves Somebody||$12,900||-56%||35||2||$369||$1,902,622||5||Lionsgate / Pantelion|
|19||Tim Timmerman, Hope of America||$2,871||-77%||7||-5||$410||$84,093||3||Purdie Distribution|
|20||Chapter & Verse||$2,277||—||1||—||$2,277||$84,147||7||Paladin|