'Beauty and the Beast' fans have a ball at the drive

Carla Harmon
March 20, 2017

And Beauty and the Beast has proved to be just as successful across the pond as it topped the United Kingdom box office with a staggering £19.7m during its debut this weekend.

Following the live-action version of "The Jungle Book" earning close to $1 billion worldwide past year, the studio looks to have another cash cow in the making with "Beauty and the Beast" breaking the record for the biggest opening weekend ever for March with an estimated $170 million, according to Variety.

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.

Beauty and the Beast is officially their most successful live-action remake, beating out 2010's Alice in Wonderland.

Slipping around 53 percent to No. 2 is Legendary and Warner Bros.' latest entry in the King Kong franchise, Kong: Skull Island, which adds a further $28.9 million to its growing $259.3 million global total ($110.1 million in the USA and Canada). It could well reach the $1 billion mark.

One beneficiary of GOP's tax bill: President Trump. Which would make it the seventh highest opening weekend of all time and the highest ever opening weekend for a March release.

Logan, starring Hugh Jackman reprising his role as Wolverine for what he says is the final time, slashed its way into third place, pulling in $17.5 million and bringing the R-rated superhero tale's stateside total to $184 million. This also makes it the second highest grossing opening weekend featuring a female lead after Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But you don't get to $170 million because of nostalgia.

It began its worldwide release last week, grossing US$2.9 million from nine territories, including the UK.

The movie had a hefty budget of US$160 million. Reportedly, the film grabbed $350 million worldwide.

Danny Boyle's "Trainspotting" sequel, "T2: Trainspotting", from Sony Pictures debuted in five theaters in NY and Los Angeles, earning $180,000 for a strong per-theater average of $36,000.

It made US$13.2 million, bringing its gross to US$133.1 million. In the recent past, films like "The Jungle Book" and "Furious 7" have made a solid impact on the Box Office. $170m of that has come from the USA alone, and with competition for the family movie dollar sparse until The Smurfs turn up, Disney might just be looking at a $1bn movie here.

According to Box Office Mojo, 72 per cent of the film's opening day audience was female.

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