Beauty and the Beast added to it's impressive Thursday preview night totals with another $64.2 million for Friday from 4,210 locations (via Variety). That puts it firmly in the $170 million opening weekend territory if the pace continues. That blows away initial estimates, which put the film in the $120 million and over range. The film's budget was around $160 million, so that's good news for Disney, though you do have to factor in the heavy marketing campaign as well. Beauty and the Beast is receiving a positive response, currently scoring a 71.00 on ComicBook.com's composite rankings. It's also in line to smash a couple of March records, including the one set by Warner Bros.' Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, which was $166.1 million for a domestic march debut.
The other new releases, Blumhouse's The Belko Experiment, brought in $1.5 million on Friday from 1,341 locations and should land somewhere in the $4 million range for the weekend. The film was directed by Greg McLean and produced by James Gunn and Peter Safran.
The rest of the list is made up of holdovers from previous weeks. Kong: Skull Island brought in an additional $7.3 million from 3,846 theaters, taking second place with a projected $25 million for the weekend. Logan brought in another 4.6 million from 3,687 in its third week of release. So far the film has raked in over $166 million domestically and over $463 million worldwide.
Beauty and the Beast is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart and soul of the true Prince within.
Beauty and the Beast stars Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Oscar winner Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belles eccentric, but lovable father; Josh Gad as Lefou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Golden Globe nominee Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, the candelabra; Oscar nominee Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, the feather duster; six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald as Madame Garderobe, the wardrobe; Oscar nominee Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and two-time Academy Award winner Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts.
Beauty and the Beast is in theaters now.