Movies & TV / News

411’s Box Office Report: Beauty and the Beast Destroys The Competition in Massive Debut

March 19, 2017 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas

Everyone knew that Beauty and the Beast would be leading the way at the box office this weekend, but just how big was in question. The answer, as it turned out, was “bigger than just about anyone expected” as the live-action retelling of the Disney animated classic brought in a huge $170 million, setting a March record and logging the seventh-biggest opening of all-time. The start surpasses all of star Emma Watson’s Harry Potter films and topped the previous March opening record set by Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice last year ($166 million). By pushing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 down a spot, the movie now gives Disney six of the seven top box office openings of all-time with only Universal’s Jurassic World breaking that stranglehold.

The opening comes in way ahead of where most analysts were predicting as of last weekend; general consensus at that point predicted somewhere in the $140 million range. But when films are set to open that massively, estimates can fluctuate wildly and by midweek most predictions had adjusted up to the $150 million to $160 million range. Disney beat even those numbers thanks to their marketing push and positive reviews, sitting at 70% currently on Rotten Tomatoes. As the weekend progressed, it became clear that this one was going to rise higher and higher; it dropped a mere 1.6% from Friday to Saturday thanks to family crowds making it in and the A CinemaScore indicates fantastic word of mouth. Disney is predicting a 31% drop from Saturday to Sunday and if that proves to be an overestimate, the film could possibly get as high as $174 million in the final numbers.

As always, the question with a film like this is how high it will ultimately climb. The fact that the movie wasn’t frontloaded over the weekend suggests great things for its week-to-week numbers. Of course, when a film opens this high you don’t often get enormous multiples, with only a few exceptions. But considering this film’s family factor, the fact that spring break is this weekend for many kids and a lack of strong family film choices in the next few weeks this should be able to get a final domestic gross that is pretty strong. $475 million is not at all unlikely at this point and it could rise higher than that. The film is also doing great business overseas with $180 million in forty-four markets for a stellar $350 million worldwide (well above $300 million projections). The film’s budget was $160 million; suffice it to say, this is a huge hit for Disney.

While the Beast claimed the box office crown this weekend, the other big animal didn’t do so bad himself as Kong: Skull Island came in at #2 with $28.9 million. That’s down 53% from the film’s opening weekend, which is far better than the 67% that Godzilla fell in its second frame in 2014. The giant ape action-adventure film is now up to $110.1 million domestically and a solid $259.3 million worldwide. It still has an upward climb but if it continuues to hold well, it should be able to make $175 million domestically. With foreign grosses, it has a shot at making back its prohibitive $185 million budget.

Logan came in at #3 with $17.5 million, a 54% fall from last week. The X-Men film is now sitting at $184 million domestically — officially the highest-grossing Wolverine film — and a huge $524.1 million worldwide. The film is now the fourth highest-grossing X-Men film in worldwide grosses and the fifth-highest domestically; it should bass X-Men: Apocalypse in worldwide numbers by next weekend. It should be able to finish off with around $220 million or perhaps a bit more and on a $97 million budget, Fox couldn’t be happier.

Get Out’s phenomenal box office run continues, as the horror film was off just 36% in its fourth weekend to $13.2 million. The Jordan Peele-directed film now stands at $133.1 million domestically and $136 million worldwide. It should be able to make it as high as $170 million by the end of its run in the US and with a $4.5 million budget, it’s quite the hit for Blumhouse.

Lionsgate/Summit’s The Shack brought in $6.1 million in its third weekend, down a respectable 39% from last weekend. The faith-based drama has scored $42.6 million domestically and $43 million worldwide, and is still targeting around $55 million to $60 million in the US by the end of its run. With a $20 million budget, it’s a money-maker.

The LEGO Batman Movie was down a spot to #6 in its sixth weekend with $4.7 million, off 38%. The animated comedy now sits at $167.4 million domestically and $287.5 million worlwide. It’s still on course for $180 million in the US; the budget was $80 million.

Low-budget horror-thriller The Belko Experiment didn’t make a huge splash in its opening weekend, scaring up $4.1 million. That’s about on par with what analysts predicted for the James Gunn-written film, another Blumhouse release. The biggest problem this film had was that Blumhouse didn’t do a lot to get the word out, having focused in recent months far more on Get Out and Split. That was a wise decision though, as both those films earned good marks from critics while this one is at a mediocre 47% on Rotten Tomatoes.

In the end, this probably won’t be a problem for the studio though. The film had a moderate-at-best ad spend on the film, with most of the focus on digital which generally costs less. While the film’s final grosses won’t be high — $12 million to $15 million is the upper ceiling of its potential — the budget was cheap at $5 million and it won’t need to go too high to break even.

Hidden Figures scored $1.5 million in its thirteenth week, off 46% from last week for its first major drop. The period drama is now at $165.6 million domestically and $214.2 million worldwide from a $25 million budget. It is should finish off with around $173 million by the time it leaves theaters.

John Wick: Chapter 2 roped in $1.2 million in its sixth weekend to bring its totals to $89.8 million domestically and $158.1 million worldwide. The film will end its US run round $95 million and with a $40 million production budget it is a very nice hit for the studio.

Before I Fall collapsed in its third weekend, off 66% to $1 million. The Zoey Deutch-starring film has now grossed $11.3 million domestically and is unlikely to make a profit even with a budget of just $5 million unless it ends up scoring some semi-solild money overseas. It should finish with around $15 million or so in the US.

Nothing is going to knock Beauty and the Beast out of the top spot next weekend, though we do have a few openers. Power Rangers is likely to lead the way among the new releases, opening for an opening in the mid- to high $30 million range, while sci-fi thriller Life is aiming for a mid- to high $10 million start. R-rated comedy CHiPs, based on the 1970s television series, is likely to start around $10 million.

Note: Numbers include Sunday estimates and are three-day estimates. A studio recoups 55% of a film’s grosses on average, meaning it needs to approximately double its budget to be profitable during its theatrical run.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Numbers)
1. Beauty and the Beast – $170 million ($170 million total)
2. Kong: Skull Island – $28.9 million ($110.1 million total)
3. Logan – $17.5 million ($184 million total)
4. Get Out – $13.2 million – ($133.1 million total)
5. The Shack – $6.1 million ($42.6 million total)
6. The LEGO Batman Movie – $4.7 million ($167.4 million total)
7. The Belko Experiment – $4.1 million ($4.1 million total)
8. Hidden Figures – $1.5 million ($165.6 million total)
9. John Wick: Chapter Two – $1.2 million ($89.8 million total)
10. Before I Fall – $1 million ($11.3 million total)