There Is No Musical Pun Big Enough For 'Beauty And The Beast'’s Box Office Triumph
UPDATE (3/19/17, 12:36 p.m. ET): Yup, Beauty and the Beast has gone and broken All The Damn Box Office Records Ever thanks to its standing ovation–worthy opening weekend. It's officially the movie with the best March debut (buhbye, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice), the strongest stateside premiere of a PG-rated title (keep swimming, Finding Dory), and the seventh-best opening for a film in the U.S. on record thanks to its $170 million showing.
Variety said that Beauty and the Beast is “belting” out a $64 million Friday night opening. The Hollywood Reporter noted that the Disney musical is “waltzing” towards a record-breaking weekend.
The wordplay is all totally justified, because Beauty and the Beast is wasting no time in waltzing or belting or roaring or beer-hoisting or time-stepping or flouncing or whatever-ing its way towards an opening weekend that's set to break a whole bunch of box office records.
This is huge, considering how well Logan and Kong: Skull Island have done in the weeks leading up to Beauty and the Beast's debut. The $63.8 million it made from its Friday showings make it the highest single day earnings for a PG film, ever, beating the reigning flick — Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince — by a cool $8 million. (It's pretty awesome that both films star Emma Watson, too.)
If the projections hold, Beauty and the Beast will beat out Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice for the best March opening ever, it'll be the new the best debut for a PG-rated movie ever (womp womp, Finding Dory — your $135 million is about to get bypassed), and it's closing in on Best Damn Openings Ever territory. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is holding tight to its title in that regard, but Beauty and the Beast could stand to become a contender for one of the biggest openings for a film that isn't a summer blockbuster.
Not that this is remotely surprising given the lead-up to the film and Watson's general badassery, but still. What a beast of an opening weekend. (Sorry. Had to.)