Beauty and the Beast Settles In at No. 1

What did the No. 1 slot at the box office tell Disney’s Beauty and the Beast? Be our guest.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast scored the biggest March opening of all time, banking $170 million this weekend, according to Disney’s own estimates. Oh, and rumor has it that those estimates might actually be a little low.

Just how big was this tale as old as time? It has already outearned the original run of its animated predecessor, which earned $145.9 million in 1991. (Re-releases have boosted the cartoon’s overall total to about $219 million.) By itself, it nearly doubled the total earnings of the other 47 movies in theaters now. And it’s the seventh biggest domestic opening all time, settling in between Iron Man 3 ($174.1 million) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 ($169.1 million). Add the $180 million the film earned overseas, and that makes for a tidy $350 million weekend. Beast should be able to get a nice full-body perm with that.

In the wake of Beauty and the Beast’s box office onslaught, the rest of the contenders were mere afterthoughts.

Kong: Skull Island proved to be the best of the rest, collecting $28.9 million. Logan banked $17.5 million to finish the weekend at No. 3. The R-rated superhero flick has now sliced its way to $184 million, making it the year’s biggest flick. It should hold that spot  for, oh, a few more hours.

Horror flick Get Out finished fourth with $13.2 million, while The Shack landed in fifth with $6.1 million. Controversial underpinnings aside, the latter is now the 11th biggest faith-based film of all time, according to Box Office Mojo, trailing 10th-place Soul Surfer by about $1.2 million.

The weekend’s only other wide release, The Belko Experiment, proved to be an experiment in relative failure. The pic earned just $4.1 million and finished seventh, behind the now aged LEGO Batman Movie, and typically we’d say the movie suffered (like most of its characters) an ignominious death. But given that the makers only spent $5 million to make this schlocky horror pic—about what the Beast likely spends on candlestick polish—the results weren’t abysmal. Just bad.

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

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