It was a bit of a given that Disney's Beauty and the Beast update was going to make a lot of money. The Mouse House's previous live-action adaptations, Cinderella and The Jungle Book, did very well for themselves at the box office, but this is Beauty and the Beast we're talking about here, one of the best musicals Disney has ever made. While reviews have been mixed, the audience has spoken. Beauty and the Beast is poised to smash at least three different records at the box office this weekend, one of which is having one of the top 10 openings of all time.
According to figures gathered by The Hollywood Reporter, Beauty and the Beast waltzed to $63.8 million in the North American box office on Friday and is projected to finish the weekend with $170 million. That estimated total would make Beauty and the Beast one of the top 10 openings of all time and one of the highest to premiere out of summer (beaten only by December 2015's Star Wars: The Force Awakens). In addition, this makes the fairy tale adaptation the biggest start ever for a PG-rated film, beating out previous champ Finding Dory's $135 million. It seems like the only studio Disney is competing with nowadays is itself.
Disney isn't the only one topping itself with Beauty and the Beast; Emma Watson's latest starring role just beat a record set by her most famous films: Harry Potter. Friday's tally of $63.8 million is the largest single day for a PG movie, defeating 2009's Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which opened to $58 million.
This is only factoring in Beauty and the Beast's domestic total. The family film also opened worldwide, and it's being estimated that Beauty and the Beast should earn at least $100 million overseas. Disney's latest opened number one in all but one market (oh, that Slovakia) and it's even doing well in Russia, despite getting a restrictive rating after it was revealed that the Josh Gad sidekick, Le Fou, is gay.
The critical reception to Beauty and the Beast has been a tad more mixed. The film currently stands at a 71% on Rotten Tomatoes, which critiques mostly focusing on the fact that it doesn't do enough to set itself apart from the cartoon. Audiences, however, gave it an A CinemaScore, so it's not like there's a shortage of love for this fairy tale romance.
Beauty and the Beast is directed by Bill Condon and stars Emma Watson and Dan Stevens in the title romance. Even though the movie doesn't need any of your money at this point, it's out in theaters right now, so why don't you go check it out if you've got a moment?