Beauty and the Beast Settles In at No. 1

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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.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Anonymous 10 months ago
Posted by Peggy Carter

I saw Beauty & the Beast last weekend, and without trying to sound too critical, boy, was it a disappointment. Not only was the animation lacking, the actors simply didn't do the cartoon justice. Because they followed the dialogue from the old movie to a T, it was certain to disappoint. The humor was cringeworthy, somewhat out of place and downright disappointing when it came to Cogsworth's "Turn back into a clock!" Gaston (although he had a great singing voice) was miscast, I thought. He was really good, just not as Gaston. Where were his huge muscles, his deep, commanding voice, his arrogance and sulkiness? Emma Watson seemed to lose the wonder of Belle...in Cinderella, Lily James did a fantastic job at the ball scene, looking breathless, shy, excited etc. while Emma Watson simply looked, well, slightly bored.

I could go on and on, but instead I'll end with reiterating what I said in a previous post, that all gay innuendoes aside, the movie itself just didn't cut it.
Anonymous 10 months ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

From your description, it sounds like you wanted Dwayne Johnson to play Gaston. :)
Anonymous 10 months ago
Posted by Peggy Carter

Har har. Not quite what I meant. No one would do the old Gaston justice. :)
Julienne Dy 10 months ago
So, you don't like the BatB remake because it doesn't quite capture what you loved about the original?  I can't outright disagree with you on that because I haven't seen it yet, but I'm inclined to.  At the same time, I understand how you feel because that's how I feel about the new Power Rangers movie.  I didn't watch it zealously growing up, but what I did watch amused me.  The movie just lacks what made Power Rangers Power Rangers for me.  When I saw the first trailer, I thought that it was way too dark and intense.  The later trailers managed to capture the action, energy, excitement, and camaraderie, which made me more inclined to giving it a chance, but then PluggedIn posted the review, and I realized that I probably wasn't going to like it.  The review only confirmed what I had inferred from the first trailer.  The movie lacks the color, fun, and goofiness that I loved about the TV show, which were the same reasons why I decided to skip out on watching the live-action TMNT movies.  "sigh"  What do movie makers (not all of them, mind you) these days have against fun and color?  

Side note, Rita Repulsa doesn't look like Rita Repulsa at all.  I mean, her actress got the voice down, but she's way too attractive for me to believe that she's Rita.  I mean, the original Rita was a bit of a space witch, the crone kind not the hot kind.

Also, Dwayne Johnson would make a terrible Gaston.  His smile is too friendly and inviting, and he sings at a tenor range.  Gaston's a baritone.
Anonymous 10 months ago
Posted by Peggy Carter

I probably have too high of standards, but, yes, that's accurate (albeit only in part). Not only did it not capture the spirit of the original, but what could've mitigated that just didn't deliver (vocal talent, animation, backstories etc.) SPOILER! For instance, Belle's dad running out on her mom when she was dying. I understand why he did it (to save his baby's life) but it still bothered me. I had many other "quibbles" with it, but I don't want to bore anyone. :P

And no, Dwayne Johnson wouldn't have made a good Gaston...that was all First Comment Guy's opinion. :)
Anonymous 10 months ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

I wasn't being serious about Johnson's casting. I only meant it as a joke; hence the smiley face.
Anonymous 10 months ago
Posted by Peggy Carter

I didn't think you were serious; mine was 100% a joke too.
Julienne Dy 10 months ago
I think I'm starting to understand why the remake had a lot of misses for some people.  I still haven't seen it, but the newest version of "Be Our Guest" came on while I was listening to Pandora.  It was definitely A LOT more subdued than the original version.  The original definitely sounded  WAY more show-stopping.  Furthermore, Lumiere's accent kept slipping.  It wasn't so bad when he talked, but it's really obvious when he sings.  Mrs. Potts also had a much heavier accent than in the original.  Again, it's not bad when she talks, but it's a bit of an ear sore when she sings in it.   "Be Our Guest" was one of the most iconic songs, if not THE most iconic song, in the original movie, and the remake (pause to choose words) didn't TOTALLY butcher it, but there was just something about the new version that just didn't feel right.  Does that last statement pretty much apply to the rest of the movie?
Anonymous 10 months ago
Posted by Peggy Carter

Yes, pretty much...not very memorable. It just lacked the...magic of the old movie.
Julienne Dy 8 months ago
So, I heard more songs from the BatB soundtrack on Pandora today, and I'm totally weirded out because the characters with the best singing voices were Cogsworth, the featherduster, and the Beast in that order. o_O
charitysplace 10 months ago
I saw B&TB finally this afternoon, and while some elements of it were weak (the vocal talent and the animation) in some ways I thought it improved on the original, story-wise; I liked that Belle had more ambition and determination and drive; I enjoyed the back-story to the Prince; some of the new music was exquisite.

I actually really appreciated the fact that the entire story seemed to point out the evils of "doing nothing" (silence is consent) while others inflict harm -- the portion of the story where Belle says the enchantment is horrible since the furniture has "done nothing," and Mrs. Potts infers that they deserve their punishment for not protecting the prince from his father was very poignant; it's reflected in the relationship between LeFu and Gaston, and LeFu doing nothing while Gaston hurts Maurice.

Overall, I liked it, very much, but I don't think it's as exquisite as Cinderella.

(And you really can't beat Angela Lansbury's Mrs. Potts.)
Julienne Dy 10 months ago
The Cinderella remake was truly a thing of beauty.  I loved how Ella embodied the essence of an ordinary girl being a princess at heart.  I haven't seen Beauty and the Beast yet, but I've somewhat calmed down a bit from my initial feelings of betrayal and disappointment.  I probably won't see it for a while because my time and finances are a little too occupied for movie-watching right now.  I did see a clip of Belle meeting the wardrobe online.  I was kind of put off by Belle insisting that she's not a princess.  I mean, I know she wasn't actually one yet at that point in the movie, but what is it about Disney heroines in this day and age rejecting princesshood?  Princesshood is the highest privelege and honor a girl can be given.  True, it's also a huge responsibility, but I personally am willing to embrace that part of it.  There's more to being a princess than being a stereotype.
charitysplace 10 months ago
I wasn't impressed by the movie clips online at all (nor the soundtrack) -- you really need to see them in context of the film for them not to feel... displaced. Belle is very much a strong woman in this one, even more so than the other version; she frequently asserts herself and take matters into her own hands.

In context, Belle is asserting the truth -- she isn't a princess; the wardrobe mistook her for one, in a bigoted assumption that only a princess is worthy of the prince and can break the curse. (The Beast also sneers at the idea of her breaking the curse, because she's a commoner -- someone "of no importance.") She isn't passing judgment on being a princess, just claiming that she's ordinary, which she is (from birth, certainly not ordinary as an individual; she has sacrificial love, which doesn't come easily!).

You are correct in that being a princess CAN be a high honor -- with the right prince. Princesses have a mythological connection with purity and innocence; throughout the stories and folklore of our society, it's seen as a desirable "special" thing, to be chosen by a princess, or born to a higher calling. I suspect the desire to be a princess stems from our human desire to be valued; many women (not all) want to be protected, cherished, and thought of as beautiful, to be treated "like a princess" -- with respect, gentleness, and affection, to be "loved."

The mythological idea of being a princess is wonderful.

The reality, not so much.

I'm a historical novelist, which forces me to read extensively certain periods in history -- and as a result, I've seen the truly ugly side of being born a princess; having no choice in whom you marry, and forced to form alliances with neighboring kingdoms; often being married to a much, much older monarch (sometimes a 30 year gap, since his "old queen" died in childbirth); having no recourse if your husband decided he wanted a younger model, after bearing him endless children (or experiencing miscarriage after miscarriage, like Katharine of Aragon did); even being held hostage by your kingly father in law, in order to extort favors, funds, or support from your father's nation; princesses were often thought of as commodities, to be traded for the "good of the realm." In fact, being a princess condemned them even more to this state of chattel -- because a common girl might be able to marry for love, whereas a highborn princess had no choice; she married whomever her father picked for her, to further his alliances.

Being privileged, wealthy, or royal born, is far more restrictive than being born a nobody. =P
Julienne Dy 10 months ago
(long "Oh!")  Okay, that makes sense.  It's just that the last time that a Disney heroine insisted that she wasn't a princess, it happened in the middle of a scene that many interpreted as Disney mocking itself for propagating the princess stereotype.  I thought that Belle insisting that she wasn't a princess was another attempt by the movie staff to modernize her.  I don't mind Belle being modernized, but at the same time, I'm a little troubled by how people in this day and age seem to treat traditional femininity and anything that reminds them of it like a disease.  I was starting to think that the princess mythology was about to become a casualty of modern feminism (assuming that modern feminism is as radical as I think it is, but I could be wrong).

I have a bit of a soft spot for the princess mythology mostly because a lot of Christian media has been adopting it lately as a symbol of godly womanhood, and it totally works.  Unlike the princesses of history, Christian "princesses" are loved by a perfect Father and serve a perfect King, so we don't have to worry about being valued less than the sons or being used as bargaining chips.  We still have to follow rules, but we're definitely given a lot of freedom within those rules.  I'd really hate to see the day when the world treats the princess mythology like a relic of the dark ages.
Anonymous 10 months ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

Me personally, Princess Diana of Themyscira (aka Wonder Woman) is my favorite princess.
Julienne Dy 10 months ago
So, you like women who are powerful, loyal, dutiful, selfless, wise, somewhat cynical, action-oriented, and capable of kicking serious butt?  Okay, nothing wrong with that.
Julienne Dy 10 months ago
So, Beauty and the Beast made money anyway despite the fact that Disney basically threw the Christian families that have loved and supported it through the generations under the bus?  "long, despondent sigh"  Disney is seriously going through with using it's reputation as a pro-family powerhouse to normalize a sinful lifestyle choice, huh?  (short pause)  You know, maybe I will watch it after all (long pause) roughly five to ten years from now when it is either in the Walmart bargain bin or being sold secondhand on Amazon.com.  By then, the pain of total disappointment should have passed, I think.
Alex Clark 10 months ago
Maybe the sad truth is that in this day and age you don;t need the support of Christian families to be successful anymore.  Or that many many christian families still felt the movie was navigable enough to see anyway?  

And even if we disagree with what they believe, we should still try to understand where the other side is coming from.  Why would people who believe homosexuality is completely normative and good have any reason to hide it from children?  I'm sure almost any pro-homosexual person you could meet would try to argue that showing homosexuality as normal is 100% compatible with being pro-family.  They'd be wrong...but they aren't acting inconsistently with what they claim to believe.  
Julienne Dy 10 months ago
I KNOW!  "hysterical, overdramatic sobbing"  I just feel so betrayed.  Belle was my favorite Disney princess.  "more sobbing"
charitysplace 10 months ago
No offense, but when have Christian families been "loving and supportive" of Disney?

Growing up, I remember boycotts on at least three occasions -- even though my family never participated. Disney has been "pro-gay" since the Michael Eisner years / mid-90's crisis over them having a rainbow day for gay couples. Disney has never cared and will never care what Christians think; they are in it to make money and so far have been tremendously successful doing it. Disney has never even been pro-family-values, for the most part (you'll notice a steady problem in their films of decreasing respect for father figures / fathers, among other flaws) -- that doesn't diminish their tremendous creativity, or how much I enjoy their films, but it's best not to view them with rose-colored glasses.

Truth is, the minor gay moment in this film made zero difference in 99% of the audience's decision to see it, both among Christians and non.
Julienne Dy 10 months ago
Okay.  (thoughtful pause)  Maybe I was looking at the Disney I remembered from my childhood with rose-colored glasses.  I didn't mean to.  I guess the sense of betrayal that I'm still feeling ran deeper than I thought.  I know it makes no sense since Disney is a corporate entity that very definitely doesn't owe me any favors whatsoever.  It's just that "pro-gay" seems to be affecting everything that means anything to me lately.  I mean, Obama legalized gay marriage ON MY BIRTHDAY.  Now, Disney is using my favorite Disney princess as a mouthpiece for the pro-gay agenda.  I just want it to stop.  WHEN WILL IT STOP?! "sobbing"
Anonymous 10 months ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

Yikes, I feel sorry for Power Rangers :)
bobed 10 months ago
Huh? Why?
Anonymous 10 months ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

I posted that comment before I found out that the Yellow Ranger is gay in this new movie. But beforehand I saw Beauty and the Beast's massive opening weekend and realized "Oh boy, Power Rangers is going to bomb."

I'm really disappointed that the Yellow Ranger is gay in this new movie. Don't ask me why (because I've never seen an episode of Power Rangers), but I was REALLY excited for this movie. And aside from Justice League and Star Wars VIII, it was my most anticipated film of 2017. Now that a gay character is in the film, I can't give my money to a film like that :(
Julienne Dy 10 months ago
I'll be honest.  I wasn't too impressed by Power Rangers.  I thought the new suit designs where too spandexy.  The trailers did slowly win me over though.  I know you said not to ask, but I'll ask anyway.  Why is yellow ranger gay?  I'm not a hardcore Power Rangers fan, but I have seen enough of it to know that if any romantic element is mixed into the show at all, it has always been hetero.  Not even Dino Charge had a homo romance, and it barely ended (pause) What? Last December?
Alex Clark 10 months ago
From what I've heard, the extent of the scene is that one of the other rangers asks if Trini is having "boyfriend problems" and then ammends the question to "maybe girlfriend problems" or something like that.  Having not seen the movie yet, (and none of the early reviews I've seen have directly mentioned the scene; seems its totally reserved for articles about the issue itself) I don't know if there is anything else beyond that, BUT it certainly seems like a lot of articles are treating this like it is definitly 100% confirmed, so maybe there is something else in the seen the dialogue doesn't reveal that confirms it for the character.

On the other hand if it is just the dialogue I could see it being written off as just speculating by the other character, but then the director has also said in an interview that Trini is "...questioning a lot about who she is,"  and "She hasn't fully figured it out yet. I think what's great about that scene and what that scene propels for the rest of the movie is, 'That's OK.' The movie is saying, 'That's OK,' and all of the kids have to own who they are and find their tribe."  I guess you could take that as "questioning" is ok, but sounds like he intends it to mean more, and I would guess it might get more overt and obvious for the character in future movies if it does well enough to get a sequel.

I don't think it would be surprising that power rangers, the show or the movie, would eventually introduce a gay character.  It became common public knowledge among ranger fans several years back that David Yost, the original Blue Ranger actor, is gay in real life, and that he left the show in season 4 due to bullying over his orientation.  He's garnered a lot of sympathy with power ranger fans, so wouldn;t be surprised at all if Saban decided it was "time" for a gay character in the franchise
Julienne Dy 10 months ago
So, possibilities:
1. Yellow Ranger is gay.
2.  Yellow Ranger isn't gay, and people are making wrong assumptions about her because she shows obvious signs of having identity issues.
3.  Yellow Ranger could possibly be gay, but other than the fact that she has identity issues, nothing in the movie either confirms or denies it.

You know, I'm just going to wait for the review.