Tale as old as time, tune as old as song... Beauty and the Beast just smacked down on King Kong.
On a weekend when all anyone wanted to do was find out whether #Disney's live-action take on their animated classic was worth the hype, box office records got taken by the horns and smashed into a million pieces — and certain as the sun rising in the east, there'll be more classics remade after Beauty and the Beast.
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Ahead of the weekend it was predicted that #BeautyAndTheBeast could make up to $150m, but in the end the reasonably faithful Bill Condon-directed movie (given a small sprinkle of gay for the 21st century) powered its way to a truly eye-watering $174m over the three-day weekend in the US.
Fueled by inescapable social media hype, Beast toppled the record set by Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($166m) to claim biggest March opening weekend ever. It also becomes Emma Watson's biggest success, eclipsing the huge $169m opening weekend of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. Beast is now sixth in the all-time biggest opening weekends list, tied with Iron Man 3 ($174m) and just behind Captain America: Civil War ($179m).
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Beast also made $180m internationally for a global total of $354m, including $22.8m in the UK, where it had the biggest-ever opening weekend for a PG film. Civil War opened with $21.1m there, for comparison. Will Beauty and the Beast make it past the billion dollar mark? Right now its chances look pretty Belle-issimo.
In second place this weekend was last week's No. 1, Kong: Skull Island. Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson and friends might be up shit's creek without a paddle as the monsters of Skull Island unleash hell on their uninvited guests, but the Jordan Vogt Roberts-directed movie is doing swimmingly with another $28.9m in the bank.
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In total, #KongSkullIsland, which is way more fun than 2014's Godzilla and seems to be getting audiences hyped for the meeting of the two monsters in Godzilla vs. Kong, has made $259.3m globally after two weekends. That's impressive, but it still needs to do huge business in China and Japan, two monster-obsessed countries where Kong opens this coming weekend, to make a profit.
Three weeks in, Hugh Jackman's Wolverine continues his farewell tour as #Logan makes another $17.5m in third place in the US. It's now at $524m globally, which is way more money than X-Men Origins: Wolverine ($373m) or The Wolverine ($414m) made, and will surpass the box office of X-Men: Apocalypse in a few days — that film made $544m in total. With Logan reaching Japan in June, is there a slim chance it could surpass even Days of Future Past? That milestone is $748m. We'll see.
Jordan Peele's highly acclaimed, super-relevant horror flick #GetOut finally launched overseas this weekend, taking $2.6m in third place in the UK. That's only slightly behind the $3.1m opening of Split, a great result without the name recognition of a director like M. Night Shyamalan. Get Out has now made $136m globally with more releases in the weeks ahead, and #Split is on an insanely impressive $257m.
Other movies adding steadily to their global totals include Lion ($121.6m), John Wick Chapter 2 ($158m), A Dog's Purpose ($165m), Hidden Figures ($214m), LEGO Batman ($287m), Fifty Shades Darker ($374m, almost done now), La La Land ($427m), Sing ($590m) and Moana ($606m).
Lionsgate's Power Rangers is out on Friday, as is Jake Gyllenhaal's sci-fi/horror Life, but there's about as much chance of either of those knocking Beauty and the Beast from the top spot as LeFou and Gaston going for it on the banquet table.
How did Beauty and the Beast stack up versus the animated classic?