Disney’s big-screen remake of Beauty and the Beast is on track to become the most successful live-action movie musical of all time, raking in an estimated $170 million in its opening weekend.
That summer-sized box office take makes the film the most successful March opening in history, and the seventh-largest film opening ever. Internationally, Beauty and the Beast earned another $180 million, bringing the global gross to $350 million.
Directed by Bill Condon, the film can expect to overtake the highest-grossing movie musical, 1978’s Grease ($188 million lifetime gross) within days. The other top movie musicals domestically are the Oscar-winning Chicago at $170.6 million, La La Land at $149 million, Les Misérables at $148 million and Mamma Mia! at $144 million.
It will still need to show box-office muscle to outrank animated movie musicals, however. In that genre, The Lion King has grossed $422 million, with Frozen ($400 million), Moana ($248 million), the animated Beauty and the Beast ($218 million), Aladdin ($217 million) and Tarzan ($171 million) all rounding out the list.
This is great news for Disney, which has fast-tracked more popular titles that started as animated films, then went onto Broadway success and are now heading back to cinemas in live-action format; Aladdin, The Little Mermaid and The Lion King are all in the works.
Based on the 1991 animated film, Beauty and the Beast stars Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the Beast, Luke Evans as Gaston, Josh Gad as LeFou, Kevin Kline as Maurice, Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts, Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza and six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald as Madame Garderobe. It features the beloved songs by Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman, as well as new songs by Menken and Tim Rice.
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