Box Office: ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Dominates, ‘Life’ is Dead On Arrival

Disney’s live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast continued to be a box office juggernaut over the weekend, with a drop of less than 50% from its record-breaking opening weekend. The film brought in a further $88 million, bringing its domestic total well over the $300 million mark, and its worldwide haul just shy of $700 million after only two weeks of release. At this point, it is all but certain that the fairytale feature will surpass $1 billion globally. The more interesting question now is: how close can it get to $2 billion?

Without adjusting for inflation, only three films have surpassed $2 billion worldwide: AvatarTitanic, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Whether Beauty and the Beast can gain access to that exclusive club is unclear, but with momentum this strong it is certainly a possibility.

Beauty and the BeastAnother interesting question is what could this gargantuan success mean for Emma Watson’s career? Since finishing with the Harry Potter franchise, Watson has mostly been taking low-profile roles in small-budget productions, with this being her first starring turn in a major blockbuster since 2011’s The Deathly Hallows – Part Two. Therefore, it is difficult to say whether she was the factor that drew people to cinemas in droves, or whether it was just the powerful Disney brand and nostalgia for the original animated feature.

We’ll get an indication very soon however, as Watson’s next starring role comes at the end of April in the form of The Circle, a thriller in which she co-stars with Tom Hanks. If The Circle performs strongly, that will be a promising sign that Watson can thrive outside of an established franchise; unlike Ryan Reynolds, who proved this week that audiences simply aren’t interested in him unless he’s wearing a Deadpool costume.

Indeed, the Alien-esque science fiction film Life hit theaters this week with a meager $12 million, settling for a debut at number four. Despite marketing which included an all-important Super Bowl TV spot, the film failed to find an audience. Hardly surprising given the track record of not just Reynolds, but also co-star Jake Gyllenhaal. Both have been prone to openings in the $10-15 million range in the past, if not worse (see Everest, SouthpawSource CodeEnd of WatchCriminalSelf/LessR.I.P.D, and The Change-Up for just a few examples). This is yet another case in which Hollywood is slow to learn a lesson.

Power RangersIt was a better week for Saban’s Power Rangers, which opened on the higher end of expectations with about $40 million and a spot at number two. This isn’t a huge win for Lionsgate given that the reboot has a $100 million budget, and could well drop like a rock in the style of last year’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, which had a similar opening. That being said, it isn’t a bad start for this potential-franchise, and if it can show some long legs over the next several weeks a sequel could well be on the cards.

Kong: Skull Island and Logan take the number three and five spots respectively, with the latter passing a $200 million domestic total this weekend. Kong had a better week overseas, opening in China to a strong $72 million.

The only other wide release was the least necessary reboot in some time: CHiPS. The R-rated comedy received a frosty reception from critics, and a weak debut to match. Bringing in about $7.5 million, the film is sure to fall off the radar quickly as another crowded summer movie season begins to ramp up.

Here’s the top ten in full:

  1. (1) Beauty and the Beast – $88.3 million
  2. (-) Power Rangers – $40.5 million
  3. (2) Kong: Skull Island – $14.4 million
  4. (-) Life – $12.6 million
  5. (3) Logan – $10.1 million
  6. (4) Get Out – $8.6 million
  7. (-) CHiPS – $7.6 million
  8. (5) The Shack – $3.7 million
  9. (6) The LEGO Batman Movie – $1.9 million
  10. (7) The Belko Experiment – $1.8 million

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