'Beauty and the Beast' sets March box office weekend record

Disney's flesh-and-blood (and CG) remake of the 1991 hit opened at the top of the domestic box office with an estimated $170 million.

Disney has proven once more that audiences have a thirst for live-action remakes of its animated classics.

The film, directed by Oscar victor Bill Condon and based on the 1991 animated film, cost USD160 million to make.

Overseas, the Disney flick has made $180 million, and this is without opening in big markets like Australia and Japan.

Beauty and the Beast will be one of Emma Watson's biggest break after Harry Potter franchise, she was popular for playing the role of one of Harry Potter's best friend Hermione Granger in JK Rowling's film adaption of her novels.

Beauty and the Beast earned $US180 million internationally and an additional $US170 million at the domestic box office, a sterling result for the $US160 million film. In China, the film grossed $3.4 million on 386 screens.

It carries a hefty $160 million budget but it has already recouped that and looks likely to earn far more as its run continues. Femmes made up 72 percent of the audience, while 28 percent were males.

The Belko Experiment follows a group of American corporate types, who are locked in a high-rise office in Bogota, Colombia.

The success continued the next day when the movie sailed past studio estimates for a mid-$50 million Saturday to earn more than $60 million.

"You see all the colours 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", says Evans.

Fox's superhero offering Logan took third place, pulling in US$17.5 million and bringing its nationwide total to US$184 million.

And rounding out the top five were Get Out with $13-million and The Shack with $6-million.

  • Salvatore Jensen