|Film||Weekend||Opening Weekend||Current Gross|
|Beauty and the Beast||$174.7m||$174.7m||$174.7m|
|Kong: Skull Island||$27.8m||$61m||$109.1m|
When I was initially making my predictions for this past weekend’s box office, I had Beauty and the Beast beating Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’s March record opening of $166 million. After some office discussion, doubts started to creep in and I lowered the opening number. Turns out, I should have gone with my gut — and even then I would have been aiming low.
Disney’s latest blockbuster not only opened to an astonishing $174 million, beating Batman v Superman‘s opening with ease, but also opened high enough to become the seventh highest domestic opening of all time. It joins five other Disney films in the top ten domestic openings, including the likes of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and four Marvel films (both Avengers films, Civil War, and Iron Man 3). To put it into perspective, after only one weekend, Beauty and the Beast is just $10 million behind Logan, which has already been out for three weeks, and a good $60 million or so higher than Kong, which has been out for two weeks. Overall, the weekend’s top twelve made an astonishing $249.5 million, the highest a top twelve has made in a single weekend since The Force Awakens’ opening, and while the other films’ strong performances helped, it was almost entirely due to the fact that Beauty and the Beast outperformed industry expectations.
Walt Disney Pictures
As a reminder, those expectations had been in the ballpark of $120 – $130 million. However, it’s massive showing has not only made it the number one film of March, but the number one PG film, the number one spring film, and the highest opening for any live-action musical since 1974. Overall, it’s currently only the second-highest live-action musical — and only $14 million away from beating Grease, which currently holds the number one title. So give it one more weekend and Beauty and the Beast will be topping yet another chart. In the Disney family, it’s the highest opening for the recent live-action remakes and now the big question is whether or not it can reach the coveted $1 billion mark.
Elsewhere, the rest of the top four films of the weekend performed about as well as expected.
Kong dropped 53 percent, typical for a large blockbuster, and was able to cross the $100 million threshold in just two weekends. Globally, the film is already at $260 million and while it’s still behind Godzilla, which it’s slated to crossover with some time in the future, as well as Peter Jackson’s King Kong film from 2005, it’s still doing well for itself regardless. 2014’s Godzilla ended its theatrical run with a $200 million domestic gross and that would be a good mark for Kong to reach for — profit-wise, it’ll make most of its money from its $185 million budget from international markets. Still, in two weekends Godzilla was already at $148 million (and then over $155 million since it was a holiday weekend) so Kong definitely has some making up to do.
Warner Bros. Pictures
For now, Logan remains the #1 film of the year, but will likely be surpassed by Beauty and the Beast before long. Still, it’s nearly to $524 million worldwide, which is very good given its $97 million budget. It’s also officially the most profitable Wolverine film and the fifth-highest X-Men film, sitting about $30 million behind X2, which is in fourth place. Will it be able to keep rising in the ranks? Only time will tell.
In fourth place was Jordan Peele’s hit horror film Get Out, which is now at $133 million. The film also made its international debut and brought in an additional $2.9 million. It’s continuing to trail behind Split, which finally dipped below $1 million in its weekend intake this past weekend. Get Out still has a good chance of beating Split to become the highest grossing Blumhouse film of all time but like with Logan, it will only prove to do so in the next coming weeks.
The Shack, bringing up the rear, made $6 million over the weekend, bringing its total to $42.4 million as it sits as the eleventh-highest Christian film.
Going forward, the big question will be if Beauty and the Beast is able to remain on top or if any of the new films — CHiPs, Life, and Power Rangers — will be able to beat it.
(Source: boxoffice.com, boxofficemojo.com. Figures represent numbers at time of writing, and may have changed.)
Anya Crittenton | Associate Editor