Beauty & the Beast breaks box office records for family movies

Happy ending for Beauty And The Beast controversy

It was huge in the United Kingdom with $22.8 million - one of the top five openings ever there - and impressed in China with $44.8 million, already topping the entire runs of Maleficent and Alice in Wonderland, according to the Hollywood Reporter. It's the highest domestic debut ever for a Disney live-action title and the seventh Walt Disney Studios release to open at more than US$150 million.

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. It also became the highest-grossing Fri-Sun opening for a PG film in the UJ, as well as the biggest ever March opening weekend of all time and the biggest ever opening for a musical, beating Les Misérables.

-Plenty of moviegoers made a decision to be the guest of Belle and her prince this past weekend, with the Disney live-action remake of "Beauty and the Beast" setting a new record for a March opening weekend. Others in the group include Alice in Wonderland or last year's The Jungle Book. "Mulan", "Mary Poppins", "Little Mermaid", "The Lion King" and many others are set to come to the big screen. That's a combined $350 million, more than double Beauty and the Beast's reported $160 million budget.

Some of the production values, however, are majestically attractive and certainly make you feel nostalgic about the animated classic in a good way.

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. (And to eat Raisenettes.) That is why the film just had the biggest opening weekend ever for a PG title both in North America and overseas.

Despite the picture's massive positive reception, it did debut to some controversy. It's also the largest opening for a PG-rated film, topping Finding Dory's previous record of $135 million, as well as the largest Spring opening weekend, fourth largest Saturday gross of all-time, sixth largest Sunday gross and eighth largest theater average for a wide opening release.

Disney is now trying to replicate the same with Emma Watson's latest release "Beauty and the Beast". Although it hasn't endeared itself to critics the way the 1991 film did, audiences are flocking to see it - likely thanks to the mix of a top-tier cast led by Emma Watson and the timeliness of the remake, which has nostalgic appeal to the young tastemakers of 2017.

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