‘Beauty and the Beast’ made crazy-money for its American box office debut

Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Thanks a lot, people. I don’t want to hear ANYTHING from the people who were kids in the ‘90s about how Disney is currently destroying your childhoods by doing live-action remakes of all your favorite cartoons. You know why? Because you guys brought this on yourselves!! The live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast opened this weekend with insane numbers. The conservative predictions going into Beauty’s box office debut were along the lines of “definitely more than $100 million domestically” and “probably $120-130 million.” But no. Beauty and the Beast made $170 million in North America.

Director Bill Condon’s Beauty and the Beast is doing monstrous business at the North American box office, waltzing to $63.8 million on Friday for a projected record-breaking weekend north of $170 million in another huge win for Disney’s growing stable of live-action fairy tale movies. The update of the classic 1991 animated musical is destined to set a number of records, including the biggest start ever for a PG title (Finding Dory is the current champ with $135 million).

Beauty looks to pass up the $166 million domestic debut of last year’s Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice to land the top March opening of all time. The family friendly movie should boast one of the top 10 openings of all time, and the biggest outside of summer save for fellow 2015 December blockbuster, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, not accounting for inflation.

Friday’s tally is the largest single day for a PG movie, beating the 2009 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ($58 million). Beauty, playing in 4,210 theaters, skewed heavily female on Friday (72 percent), according to one polling service. Audiences gave the film an A CinemaScore. The $160 million tentpole, produced by Mandeville Films, should see a nice boost from a full run in Imax theaters, generally known as a haven for fanboys, and not families. But with PG films booming, Imax is expanding its programming to include such are. Imax worked with Condon on making a special version of Beauty that allows more to be seen on the screen because of a different aspect ratio.

Beauty is also opening around the world and should earn at least $100 million overseas. It took in a strong $11.5 million on its opening day, debuting as the No. 1 film in all but one market (Slovakia, where it was the No. 1 non-local film). It is also doing well in Russia, despite a restrictive rating slapped on the film after Condon recently revealed that Gad’s character, Gaston’s sidekick, is gay.

[From THR]

I knew this was going to be a hit, and I thought it would probably be a major debut, but I didn’t even expect this. This says something about the hunger for family-friendly movies, I guess. I would argue that moms especially want films which are something other than a total sausage party, and moms want to take their kids to a movie with a strong female protagonist. Emma did a good job of making her image both family-friendly and feminist-friendly. Belle was a reader and inventor and she had agency throughout the story, which may seem obvious to adults, but it’s an important message for little kids too. So even though I think the whole “live-action remakes of classic animated films” thing is a stupid money-grab and it signifies the lack of new ideas in corporate-entertainment structures, I also think it’s kind of cool that one of the biggest movies of the year is centered on a female character. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Film Premiere Beauty and The Beast

Photos courtesy of WENN, Disney.

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99 Responses to “‘Beauty and the Beast’ made crazy-money for its American box office debut”

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  1. justsaying says:

    I saw it, I was scared that Emma would destroy the movie but she wasn’t that bad.

  2. Megan says:

    They’ve promoted the crap out of it for MONTHS. It’s not entirely surprising. Plus the original is a much-loved Disney classic.

    • Megan says:

      The big open certainly takes the sting out of passing on La La Land.

    • G says:

      Yeah, I haven’t seen it (not sure if I’ll see it at the cinema yet or not) but I think this is the reason it’s done so well. Not buying that it’s because mothers are looking for a strong female protagonist. I think the majority don’t care about that, and that many of them are probably just women who grew up with the film themselves and enjoyed it. However since it DOES have a strong female lead, I hope that kids are seeing it and I’m glad it’s doing well at the box office.

  3. Nicole says:

    I loved it. And the tweaks they did made the story better. Belle had agency the entire time. We saw more of the Beast and his personality. Gaston was terrifying and real. Le Fou was clearly struggling with the actions set in motion.

    All good. Really enjoyed it.

    • minx says:

      I haven’t seen it yet but I’m happy to hear that. I like that women were driving up the box office totals, it’s about time.

    • Shambles says:

      ITA with everything. I saw it and absolutely loved it. I’ll probably get skewered for this, but I thought it was much better than the original. I loved the added backstory, I loved Belle’s added badass-ness, I loved Le Fou’s growth, I loved all of it. It was great.

      • Nicole says:

        You’re not the only one. We went with a group for a friends birthday and we all liked it better than the original. Yes Emma Watson doesn’t have a Broadway powerhouse of a voice but she carried the songs fine. We saw so much more of the Beast that the Stockholm syndrome thing isn’t there. They allude to the idea of Belle’s agency and freedom.

        Most of all I think they brought forth the themes of otherness, toxic masculinity, what truly makes a beast, feminism much more evident.

        However the Broadway show is still my favorite. I saw it as a kid in NY and the Be Our Guest number was something else.

      • Shambles says:

        You hit the nail on the head with the themes of the movie. I’m really impressed with the depth they were able to bring to a Disney cartoon. And superficially, God Emma Watson is BEAUTIFUL.

      • Cidey says:

        Agreed! Love the original but this brought a new depth to the characters and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute!!!!

      • Embee says:

        I took my 7 year old daughter and was delighted by the themes they highlighted for her. And I agree with the commenter upthread about the pace being slow. I adore a slower-paced movie, as I love to marinate in the story, and this allowed you to do so. We really enjoyed it. I will likely buy it.

  4. LAK says:

    It’s a scene by scene remake of the animated film. I’d venture that it is a live action copy as opposed to a new film or even an updated film. Of course it was bound to do well because the animated film was very well made, very well received, a critical and commercial success and it holds up.

    The live action re-makes of tge other films have had to update the story to make it work which makes them new films using geloved animated source material.

  5. ElleBee says:

    It’s the classic of classics in the Disney vault of course it made money. Plus Emma’s HP goodwill and fandom have carried over plus Luke Evans it hot plus Disney threw crazy money behind the marketing even before the damn movie was made. I’ll watch it to complain about ruining classics but I will secretly enjoy it and watch it a few times

  6. Veronica says:

    We made ourselves go see “Get Out” first because SUPPORT FOR NON-FRANCHISE YA’LL, but I’m probably going to wind up seeing this later in the week if only because I loved this movie as a kid.

    • Nona says:

      That’s exactly what I did! Went to see Get Out because first things first. And the lines for Beauty—they had to form four lines for Beauty—were out the door. Really amazing to see all those young women in their 20s and 30s as excited as little girls. And I spoke to some of them—they were there to root on a female hero. Loved it. And loved Get Out too!!

  7. Joy says:

    I loved it. My sister and I went together in 1991 and again this weekend. I thought it was fantastic.

  8. Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

    I want to see this but am put off by Emma as I am not a fan of her acting, I find myself cringing. I listened to the soundtrack and her singing wasn’t terrible but it was heavily produced but so were a few others (Emma Thompson). She’s a nice enough person but as an actress does nothing for me, sorry.

    • WeAreAllMadeOfStars says:

      Agreed. She’s very blah to me. Her success is due to the fact that she’s lodged in the Harry Potter generation’s mind in a very nostalgic way. With that said, her songs were fine and probably totalled 2.5 minutes, seriously. It was a very enjoyable movie that was apparently seen by every female in North America and I suggest you do the same if you haven’t already lol

  9. MunichGirl says:

    It’s a good movie. I hope they don’t mess Mulan, Aladdin… up.

  10. Jenns says:

    I enjoyed it way more than I expect to. How can you not love “Be Our Guest”?

  11. teacakes says:

    It was always going to make crazy money, Kaiser.

    I mean, even freaking Cinderella made bank, but a remake of possibly THE most popular Disney Princess movie ever, starring Hermione as Belle? Slam dunk.

    Literally all they had to do was get the visuals right and not mess up too badly – it doesn’t matter if Emma Watson can’t sing too well or acts with her eyebrows, it’ll still hoover up that little-kid money.

  12. Adrien says:

    I’ll be seeing this on Friday, so excited.

  13. Lightpurple says:

    Waiting for live-action Finding Nemo!

  14. nemera34 says:

    Beauty and the Beast is my favorite Disney animated film. I love it. And I had not doubt it would be a big hit. It is Spring Break in many places and yes kids love this movie. The supporting characters are funny and cute. All the things you want to see. I’m not a big fan of Emma. I loved the Harry Potter films/books. But the truth is anyone could have played Belle to some success. I think she is just familiar and pulls fans from both popular films/books. So I’m not mad. Disney is taking the next logical step in their animated vault and making the live action versions. I don’t see that is a bad thing. They are using what they have and making it different. The Mouse House knows what their audiences want. And their audience wants the Live versions of these animated films.

    • teacakes says:

      I absolutely agree, the movie would have been successful no matter who played Belle, just like Cinderella was (with a then-unknown Lily James in the lead, and she was actually good).

      But in this case, I think Disney realised all the needed was for the actress to have the right image, and the whole ‘Hermione plays Belle’ angle is something that younger audiences and Emma’s massive HP fanbase has eaten up.

  15. Jeesie says:

    I was kind of hoping this would fail miserably so we could finally stop pretending Emma Watson has any acting talent or presence. Now she’s going to get to be the notable weak link in a whole lot more promising films.

    Oh well. Hopefully it gives Dan Stevens a boost. He was so fantastic in The Guest and now Legion.

    • QueenB says:

      “I was kind of hoping this would fail miserably so we could finally stop pretending Emma Watson has any acting talent or presence.”
      The Hollywood Reporter touched on that:
      “The IP is the star of the movie,” said a producer. “If you hired Jennifer Lawrence as Belle, would it really make a difference in the opening [of Beauty and the Beast]? Unlikely.”

      They could have cast Rob Schneider as Belle and it would have sold out. To be fair her public image fits perfectly to Belle and she has a beauty that women find unthreatening and lots of men love. Emma will stay around a long while after this. Harry Potter carried her until this year and she wasnt the leading part.
      I would advice her not to try to be a good actress in artsy movies but do those bigger movies, people generally like her and her image and those bigger movies are a lot less challenging and forgiving.

      • OhDear says:

        Agreed – I think her public persona is an idealized version of how many (white?) women think of themselves (classy! respectable! smart! reads books! brunette! not like those other girls, but yet unthreatening), so she’ll get a pass no matter what she does. She can have a perfectly successful career doing these types of movies, but it seems like she’s thirsty for *serious* actor recognition, though.

        (The movie was never going to fail, esp. in times where people want escapism. Most people seemed to like it except for her performance.)

      • Nik says:

        “I think her public persona is an idealized version of how many (white?) women think of themselves (classy! respectable! smart! reads books! brunette! not like those other girls, but yet unthreatening)”


      • nem says:

        @ohdear,yo are so right.
        but her tragedy is she already has been used to blockbuster mega success in a worshipped role .
        it doesn’t challenge her ambition as a (bad) actress anymore.
        she craves credibility
        all has been given to her on a silver plate celebrity,loving everlasting stans base,wealth,education, prestigious and well paid cosmetic ambassadorship ,beauty status,humanitarian glow,etc. but that.
        it s human thing to want to achieve great things,and she has been groomed for this although she is not talented.
        oscar’s the limit ,and they love to reward bland cutesy so she has nothing to prevent her from trying (maybe becoming a weinstein girl?)

      • teacakes says:

        @OhDear – I’m stunned by the accuracy of your comment about her public persona. It’s spot-on in every way.

        @nem – I agree that she’s had everything handed to her on a plate career-wise, except for those good reviews.

        The irony is that Daniel Radcliffe – Harry himself – is the one who’s actually getting the critical respect she craves so much, but you know she’d never lower herself to working in theatre or learning the craft the way he’s been doing.

      • nem says:

        @teacakes, it will be interesting to see in ten years where they will be in ten or fifteen years.
        daniel radcliffe or sparkles are lucky as men they have time to perfect their craft,they have time and money until their 60′s .
        their god daniel day lewis is rare.they don’t have to be everywhere,only their work will be examined,and they will keep their mystique and win some maturity sex appeal(if they don t charlie sheen their health).
        emma is fuc… as now is her time to shine for the kind of career she wants.at 35, it will be retiring time.
        she s like pre oscar natalie portman,with much more franchise success,but a less serious film profile.
        that s why even if she succeeds ,once she loses her ingenue looks she may be screwed,as we see portman has not very well handled her post oscar career.
        a child star too she was the darling of hollywood, but now we know she is no jodie foster talent level or iconic film wise (with no franchise).
        contrary to them scarlett johansson managed to stay a+ list without golden statue and do indie and prestige.if GITS is a hit ,she’ll be the ultimate career chameleon from child star to smart ingenue to old school sex symbol to hollywood action woman (when no one has claimed angelina throne).
        but we can t compare female to male in films.10 against 40 years ! with no matthew mcconnaughey reinvention possiblity.
        sexism sucks

      • teacakes says:

        @nem – I agree that Hollywood is sexist, but even comparing Emma and Dan (who are the same age) at this point in time, the differences in skill/dedication to their craft, are quite evident.

        Also agreed that 35 is more or less the upper limit for actresses…… those who mainly build their career on their looks that is (Charlize Theron, Jessica Chastain and Amy Adams aren’t going to stop getting jobs anytime soon even though they’re well past 35). Natalie Portman, rightly or wrongly, has a reputation as a “good actress” and will likely continue with her Oscar baiting material into her 40s since it’s evident franchises or fantasy movies are not something she can do well. With Scarjo, she has the status even without any Oscar baiting (she has a BAFTA and a Tony though), the Avengers raised her profile in a huge way but she’s still seen primarily as a sex symbol.

        But even she has more of a shot than Watson could have, because Watson is nothing but image (I suspect by 35, when being pretty isn’t enough to score her jobs any more, she’ll fall back on more advocacy work to keep her profile high – that and endorsements). Unless she really puts her ego aside and learns to act in that time, that is.

      • nem says:

        i think the same of emma and dan.
        it is just even she was putting effort on it,it may be like trying to void the ocean of water with a tea spoon.
        the tide is strong and wind is not on her side.
        but it s not a problem now as we know she is all smoke and mirrors.
        but maybe she represents the subpar standard superstar of this hollywood era, when exhausted without substance franchises are the new success recipe.
        as if matrix trilogy was the swan song of ambition in hollywood.
        to me it may explain why chastain and adams have a relatively late blooming in big roles,poc actresses were inexistant etc. 2000′s talents seem to have been destroyed or failed with few exceptions (scarlett johansson…)
        that her harmless bland beauty is appealing for girls is one thing ,the worshipping from boys never ceases to amaze me (my brother is in awe of her because hp was the deal during his teens,but in my time you had to be close to the glamazons supermodels of the 90′s to be allowed a mention)

      • JustMe87 says:

        I will admit before seeing this movie my biggest concern was “I feel like they could have done a better job casting Belle”. Now that I’ve seen it and am reading these comments I’m finding myself wanting to jump to Emma’s defense. I thought she did absolutely beautifully as did everybody in the movie. I was blown away every second from start to finish. I liked this version even better than the original, in fact I can’t think of a single movie I’ve ever watched that impressed me more than this did. A+ from me.

    • Neverwintersand says:

      I loved Dan in Legion! He’s got amazing screen presence! Those blue eyes of his don’t hurt too! :)

  16. perplexed says:

    Well, I guess this well her career. I like her as a person, but I do find it painful to watch her act. She has the kind of voice that always sounds a bit shrill to me.

  17. Elle says:

    Why is this quasi-bestiality story so popular? It is so weird to me, just the imagery, weird.

    • slowsnow says:

      Funny, I actually think that beyond the popular Stockholm Syndrom interpretations, this story/film is about bestiality and compulsion. There were certain articles noting that in Cocteau’s version, in this version and others, the moment the Beast turns into a prince is a big downer.
      I have been reading interpreations here on CB and other articles and I find myself wondering why they are always so litteral. Perhaps because it’s a kid’s story so we try to find the Role Model and the Cultural Structure, but there are far more interesting – albeit politically incorrect – views on traditional kids’ stories. Once upon a time on Netflix, although really bad in terms of special effects and acting, somtimes has nice twists to the stories and ads a certain density.

  18. QueenB says:

    Not surprised at all. Anything less than a billion will be terrible for such a film.

  19. Alleycat says:

    I don’t know, I grew up in the 90′s and I don’t really care if they keep remaking the animated movies. I loved Beauty and the Beast, saw it multiple times in the theatre when it came out, and I wasn’t disappointed by this. It was quite funny.

  20. slowsnow says:

    My 11 yo son had a bday party yesterday and they saw the beauty and the beast.
    The parents that took him work on animation and thought that there were lots of mistakes and that the pace was strangely slow. I understand what they say: the magic of animation does not carry onto GCI and it’s a pity. For instance, I watched the jungle book last year and while I was enternained, I completely forgot about it the day after.
    I find this whole trend a bit of a shame but, being a trend, it will die away with the next magic trick to bring audiences to theatres.

  21. Tig says:

    Not enough folks give Bill Condon credit-he’s an amazing director. It’s so impressive that he’s able to deliver a good movie( and that’s different from BO totals-this would have made bank good, bad or indifferent) here working with the shadow of the animated version looming. Glad for him, and can’t wait to see it! Question for viewers- is it worth it to see in IMAX?

  22. Miss V says:

    I saw it! Several of the main characters really can’t sing, but the movie was so good itself that it didn’t matter. Emma was the weak link, for sure. She has no acting ability or charisma, but she was serviceable as Belle, which I think is what they wanted.


    Yay for a female led film making bank, ugh at mediocre white actresses being rewarded time and time again. Phillipa Soo is the Belle we deserved :-(

  24. EX says:

    Omg I watched it and i loved it!!!!

    That top picture just brought back all the warm feelings that i got from this movie. You could truly feel the character’s love and care for each other T_T.

    And Beast was damn cute! As Beast.

  25. Claudia says:

    My 10 year old daughter and all her friends like Emma Watson very much, the boys of that age find her very beautiful.

    They are all waiting to see the movie.

  26. Jenns says:

    I also have to say that there were several girls in my screening wearing there Belle dress, which was adorable.

    Equally adorable was the little girl next to me who WAS NOT HAVING IT when it came to Gaston. She was sassing him right back when he was on screen.

  27. jess says:

    Oh my god I loved it! It gave me such warm feelings. I have seen it twice now. Already planning a third. I laughed and cried the whole way through. I was impressed by everyone in this movie, Including Emma. My 5 year old self is super happy right now!!

  28. Jessica says:

    I saw it and loved it! Everyone was clapping and laughing/crying at the end. Truly one of the best movies I’ve seen in a while, which I was not expecting.

  29. Leslie says:

    I adore this new movie. I love the original, but I think the changes and additions they made to the new film actually did improve the story. I think the performances were wonderful, too.

    I love that they fixed some plot holes that the original had, and I love the addition of more interaction between Belle and Beast which made their love story more believable. I also love that they made Lefou question his support of Gaston at the end.

    I re watched the original a week ago and while I still love it, there were places to improve it and I think the live action film did.

  30. Rae says:

    I have to wait till I get home in April to see it; I’m really looking forward to it.

    That wasn’t the case when it first was announced, I hated the idea! However, the more I’ve seen, the more I’ve read, the more I hope it does well.

    It still ranks as one of my favourite movies. It will take a lot to impress me, but I hope it will.

  31. jerkface says:

    I didn’t see Beaustiality but I did watch the Always Sunny episode where Cricket thought he found a nice girl to date and it turns out he was just making out with his dads dog.

  32. Grinling Gibbons says:

    My friend and I took our husbands and we all loved it, despite being thirtysomething married adults! The only parts I found to be a bit overdone and cheesy were the beginning and end, but it was a good story that moved at a nice pace and the music was fantastic, similar to the original. Emma was okay (not fantastic, not bad) but it was really Cousin Matthew’s glorious wiglet at the end that stole the show!

  33. michelle says:

    I think it’s an ideal family film or for anyone to see. Especially the type of film for getting away from the depressing news of Trump everyday in the news and around us. Good that there’s a female lead in a sucessful film. Hopefully there will be lots more in the future?

  34. Chinoiserie says:

    I am one those 90s kids who were big Disney fans and I have not watched any of these live action films. I considered with Jungle Book but did not feel like it in the end, all of these just seem to lack creativity and just just be lesser versions of the originals (well Alice and Malificent seemed to have some creativity but looked terrible). I think it’s not really big animation fans that are very exited about these. But if you someone likes them feel free to watch, they have just not been for me so far.

    Mulan seems to have potential however with being able to show more far in live-action version and being longer and maybe going back to the original legend a bit. And the Mary Poppins sequel should have completely original storyline.

    • Leslie says:

      Speaking as a 90s kid who grew up on Disney animation with Beauty and the Beast being one of my favorites:

      The Jungle Book remake is miles better than the original, which wasn’t very good.

      I don’t think there is anything to improve on with Mulan, so the remake won’t improve on the original. And if they don’t make the remake a musical, then the remake will be miles worse than the original.

      I haven’t seen the Cinderella remake so no comment on that one.

      Maleficent was garbage.

      There was actually room to improve on Beauty and the Beast if only slightly. I think they did improve on the original with the remake because it did close some holes in the original story and it made the Belle/Beast romance more believable.

  35. CM says:


    Such a beautiful movie, Dan Stevens is terrific as Beast and Emma did a great job. Going to see the movie again this week! :D

  36. Ana says:

    1991′s Beauty and the Beast is my favorite movie of all time, so I was expecting to hate this… but I actually quite enjoyed it. It’s a well done movie that pays homage to the original and gives a little bit of character development beyond that story for all the main characters. it’s visually stunning and the new songs are amazing. Its only issue is that Emma Watson’s acting is worse than ever-

  37. Just my opinion says:

    Emily was very wrong for the part. She isn’t that pretty and her acting is mediocre. She looked too young for the part especially cast to play the love interest of some much older men than her. Movie would’ve done fine without her. Aside from that everything else was perfection.

  38. Jaykay says:

    I just came back from watching the movie. I absolutely loved 1991 beauty and the beast animation movie, I watched Broadway beauty and the beast, and then I watched the imax beauty and the beast when imax first came out and yes I have the DVD. I’m sorry to say but I did not enjoy the movie because of Emma Watson. I feel she was horribly miscast. And she still looks like a kid to me. Maybe I was comparing it to the animation movie but I felt Emma didn’t exude the Passion that the animation before had. Heck when the beast was getting shot several times i felt Emma Watson as Belle should have been shouting in horror and grief! But she was just standing /staring over there. Yes Luke as Gaston was totally the best of of everyone. I also did not like the new songs. I kinda thought showing the enchantress was a little cheesy. I would have watched this movie even if there were horrible reviews since I love B&B so much but I doubt I’ll be buying the dvd when it comes out.