'Beauty and the Beast' blasts through box office records with $350m debut

  • 'Beauty and the Beast' blasts through box office records with $350m debut

'Beauty and the Beast' blasts through box office records with $350m debut

The movie also took in over $182 million overseas, bringing its total opening weekend gross to approximately $357 million.

It is also the new record holder for the biggest March opening, beating superhero movie Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice's $166 million (£134 million) haul a year ago (Mar16).

The blockbuster opening validates Disney's decision to remake its classic animated films as liveaction event movies, something that has rankled some critics.

That's right - last year's Finding Dory was massive domestically ($135 million) as the previous champ, and yet Beauty and the Beast blew it out of the water.

Audience members flocked to Disney's live-action remake of the 1991 classic in record numbers.

How did "Beauty" bring in so many moviegoers and what lessons can Disney learn from its success as it moves forward with other live-action remakes?

Have you seen Beauty and the Beast yet?

The star-studded cast - which includes British actors Emma Watson, Ewan McGregor and Emma Thompson - recorded the largest March opening weekend in the US. Next up was the U.K. - Watson's home country - where the pic earned $22.8 million, the fifth biggest for any film and the biggest for a PG title. "The Belko Experiment" opened in 1,341 locations, roughly a third of the theater count for a major studio offerings.

Watson was reportedly offered United States dollars three million upfront, but her profits will likely end up being considerably larger upon the film's total gross.

The latest version of the story stars Emma Watson, Dan Stevens and Luke Watson. Disney's film group, which includes Marvel and Pixar but uses the umbrella name of Buena Vista, had box-office sales of $3 billion, or 26% of all worldwide movie sales past year.

Beauty and the Beast is now on top of the box office, denying the mighty Kong: Skull Island its second frame in the number one spot.

The Shack rounded out the top five generating $6.1 million, pushing earnings for the faith-based romantic drama, starring Sam Worthington and Octavia Spencer, to over $42.6 million.