Sunday, March 19, 2017

Audiences Decide To Be Disney's Guest As Beauty And The Beast Has Record Breaking Opening Weekend

A live-action remake of a classic animated Disney movie making big bucks in the Spring? What malarkey is this??? Nah, but sarcasm aside, Disney got their 2017 slate off to a massive start as Beauty And The Beast opened to a tremendous $170 million, the seventh best opening weekend of all-time and the biggest opening weekend ever in March. That's also the biggest opening weekend in history for a movie that wasn't rated PG-13 and already makes it the second biggest movie of 2017, only narrowly putting it behind Logan which it should surpass by Tuesday. It's also already the biggest movie Kevin Kline has ever appeared in, the sixth biggest ever for Emma Thompson and easily the biggest non-Star Wars movie ever for Ewan McGregor. It's also by far the biggest opening weekend ever for a live-action musical, becoming the first time in history a live-action musical opened to over $50 million, let alone $150 million, and beating out the previous opening-weekend champ in this subgenre, High School Musical 3: Senior Year, by $128 million.

Sometimes, blockbusters performing at this high level of box office success like this one are total surprises (think Jurassic World or The Avengers). But for Beauty And The Beast, this is far from a surprise given how beloved the original animated movie is, the huge box office generated by recent live-action remakes of classic animated Disney movies and the massive marketing push Disney gave this Bill Condon movie. Toss in the additional $180 million Beauty And The Beast made at foreign territories this weekend and it's apparent this $160 million budgeted motion picture is a massive win for all involved. The only question now is how it holds in the next few weekends. Most of the other springtime Disney movies of this ilk, like Oz The Great And Powerful and Cinderella, did exactly three times their opening weekend, while others, like Maleficent and The Jungle Book did 3.5 times their opening weekend. I'll say Beauty And The Beast leans closer to Oz and Cinderella given how it's understandably more frontloaded than past titles in this subgenre, but it wouldn't be shocking to see it narrowly clear $500 million (which only seven films have done up to this point) when all is said and done.

Surprisingly, the other titles amongst the top 12 held rather well considering in past weekends where a movie opens to over $150 million typically holdovers rarely dip below 50%. Instead, the various holdovers held on solidly, including Kong: Skull Island, which held slightly better than usual for recent blockbuster fare, going down about 53% to gross another $28.8 million, meaning its now grossed $110.1 million in ten days. If it can not crumble in the face of the deluge of blockbusters opening over the next two weeks, it could be looking at a respectable final domestic total in the neighborhood of $155-160 million.

Fellow March 2017 blockbuster Logan kept on chugging, going down 54% to gross another $17.5 million, meaning it's now grossed $184 million in seventeen days. Will this one be able to knock out the $214 million domestic total of X2: X-Men United to become the third biggest X-Men movie of all-time? I think it can, but we'll have to wait and see on that front. Get Out had its biggest weekend-to-weekend decline yet, but still held on magnificently, dipping only 36% to gross another $13.2 million, bringing its amazing domestic cume to $133.1 million. Since there aren't any new horror films opening up over the next month, it's likely this one will continue to hold on well enough to end its domestic gross in the vicinity of a number as high as $170 million.

Grossing another $6.1 million this weekend was The Shack, which is a 39% drop from last weekend. This one's not holding as well as past hit Christian movies, though it's guaranteed now to hit $50 million domestically, something only nine other Christian movies have accomplished. Holding surprisingly well in the face of a new family movie juggernaut Beauty And The Beast was fellow family film The LEGO Batman Movie, which was down only 38% to gross another $4.7 million. This Batman feature has now grossed $167.4 million domestically.

Also debuting in wide release this weekend was the ultra-grim and ultra-dark The Belko Experiment, which grossed $4 million, a slight improvement over the $3.8 million James Gunn's last March-released horror movie, Slither, debuted to back in 2006. That's an improvement over the opening weekends of past BlumHouse Tilt titles like The Green Inferno and Incarnate, though this one was likely kept from breaking out due to mixed reviews, a super bleak tone and competition from fellow BlumHouse title Get Out. I'd expect this one to super frontloaded, like typical horror movie titles, and finish its domestic run around $8 million.

Hidden Figures spent its 11th straight weekend in the top ten movies in America this weekend, grossing another $1.5 million (a 46% drop from last weekend) to bring its domestic gross to $165.5 million. Right behind it was John Wick: Chapter Two, which added $1.2 million (a 55% drop from last weekend) to a domestic gross that now stands at an impressive $89.7 million. Rounding out the top ten was Before I Fall, which plummeted 65% this frame to gross another $1 million, meaning it's now grossed $11.2 million.

In the land of limited releases this weekend, T2: Trainspotting debut to $180,000 from 5 locations for a per-theater average of $36,000. That's a strong start for the movie that gives it a slightly higher opening weekend per-theater average than the original Trainspotting. Can it beat out that movies $16.4 million domestic cume? I honestly doubt it, but we shall see. Personal Shopper expanded to 35 locations this weekend and grossed another $158,515 for a 10 day domestic total of $269,920. Terrence Malick's newest movie, Song To Song, debuted to only $53,945 at 4 locations for a middling per-theater average of only $13,486. Finally, Frantz bowed to $18,500 at 2 locations for a per-theater average of $9,250.

The Top 12 movie this weekend grossed a total of $249.5 million, the ninth biggest weekend in history and the biggest weekend in March history.

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