I have a feeling that Disney opened its ‘Beauty and the Beast’ remake one week after Warner’s new King Kong picture specifically so that box office journalists could use the above headline. I will happily comply.
Don’t be confused by the byline on this post. Luke has the day off and I’m filling in. He’ll be back to take over box office duties next week.
In the meantime, Disney’s ongoing plan to remake all of its animated classics into live-action continues to pay big dividends. As fully expected, the new ‘Beauty and the Beast‘, starring Emma Watson and directed by Bill Condon, dominated the box office this weekend. The film opened with a massive $170 million domestic total. That not only sets a new record for March, it’s significantly ahead of last year’s version of ‘The Jungle Book’ ($103.3 million opening) or 2015’s ‘Cinderella’ ($67.9 million). As if that weren’t enough, it pulled another $180 million overseas for a worldwide debut of $350 million.
Disney executives are no doubt patting themselves on the backs today while rapidly green-lighting more of these remakes. They should be careful, though. Eventually, they’re going to run out of classics to remake. You’ll know that we’ve hit the bottom of this trend the day a live-action ‘Oliver & Company’ is announced.
‘Beauty’ shot ‘Kong: Skull Island‘ down off the skyscraper it climbed last week. The big monkey fell 53% to $28.85 million. Its ten-day domestic total of $110 million is behind where 2014’s ‘Godzilla’ stood at this point in its run ($148 million). With another $38.5 million in international money, the giant monster picture has snatched $259.3 million to date all told. Considering its massive $185 million production budget (which is more expensive than ‘Godzilla’ was), the film will struggle to be profitable at this rate. (Hollywood’s rule of thumb is that a movie must gross 2.5x its production budget.) Even so, I have no doubt that Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. still intend to follow through on plans to pit the two monsters against one another. The combined marquee value of both together may still put butts in seats.
‘Logan‘, Hugh Jackman’s last stand in the role of Wolverine, slashed its way to third place with $17.5 million. After three weeks, the ‘X-Men’ spinoff sits at $184 million domestically. International numbers for this weekend aren’t clear at the time of this writing, but even without them, the movie has collected at least $524 million worldwide. That’s enough to make it the top-grossing movie of the year so far.
Four weeks in, Jordan Peele’s satirical horror movie ‘‘Get Out’‘ is still going strong. Slipping one spot to fourth place, the film scared up another $13.25 million for a domestic cumulative gross of $133.1 million. For a movie that cost only $5 million to make and has no major stars in the cast (forgive me, Allison Williams and Bradley Whitford fans), this is certainly one of the most profitable projects of the year.
Even with almost no advertising or promotion at all, the new horror thriller ‘The Belko Experiment‘ somehow scraped together $4 million to land in sixth place. Written by James Gunn (‘Guardians of the Galaxy’) and produced for $5 million, this may not rank as a sleeper hit on the scale of ‘Get Out’, but will likely turn a profit.
In limited release, Danny Boyle’s belated sequel ‘T2 Trainspotting‘ opened in five theaters with $180,000, equating to $36,000 per screen. That may be a slow start, but the movie already has a bank of $33 million from its European release, which started back in January. That’s double the total gross that the original ‘Trainspotting’ made in 1996.
Terrence Malick’s ‘Song to Song‘ played on four screens to $54,000, or $13,500 per screen.
- ‘Beauty and the Beast’ (Disney) – $170 million
- ‘Kong: Skull Island’ (Warner Bros.) – $28.85 million
- ‘Logan’ (Fox) – $17.5 million
- ‘Get Out’ (Universal) – $13.25 million
- ‘The Shack’ (Lionsgate) – $6.13 million
- ‘The Lego Batman Movie’ (Warner Bros.) – $4.7 million
- ‘The Belko Experiment’ (BH Tilt) – $4.05 million
- ‘Hidden Figures’ (Fox) – $1.5 million
- ‘John Wick: Chapter 2’ (Lionsgate) – $1.2 million
- ‘Before I Fall’ (Open Road) – $1.03 million