Disney's live-action remake of the old fairy tale "Beauty and the Beast" broke box office records across the world as soon as it appeared.
A still from "Beauty and the Beast." [Photo / China.org.cn]
The film, directed by Bill Condon and starring Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans and Josh Gad, grossed 308 million yuan (US$44.6 million) in China during its debut three-day weekend, and became the biggest grossing musical ever screened in China, taking the crown briefly held by the Academy-Award winning "La La Land."
"Beauty and the Beast" performed even more phenomenally in North America. It has delivered a film the size of a summer blockbuster in the less glamorous month of March.
With an estimated US$170 million, "Beauty and the Beast" topped the previous March opening weekend record of US$166 million set by "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" just last year. It's also the seventh largest opening weekend ever recorded, ahead of the US$169.1 million opening of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2" and just behind "Iron Man 3" that recorded US$174.1 million at its May 2013 opening.
Internationally, "Beauty and the Beast" delivered an estimated US$180 million from 44 key markets for a combined estimated US$350 million global opening, which ranks at No. 14 best of all-time.
The box office result for "Beauty and the Beast" in China has already surpassing the entire run for "Maleficent" and "Alice in Wonderland."
Disney has been very successful with profitable remakes of its own animated classics in China in recent years. For example, the live-action "Cinderella" made US$71.57 million, while the remake of "The Jungle Book," which won best visual effects at the Oscars on Sunday, grossed US$150 million here.
Disney has already decided to hire Niki Caro for a live-action remake based on the 1998 Disney animated feature adaptation of the story of the Chinese heroine Mulan.