'Beauty and the Beast' sets March box office weekend record

'Beauty and the Beast' sets March box office weekend record

'Beauty and the Beast' sets March box office weekend record

Its cumulative total now stands at $42.6 million.

"Beauty And The Beast" was an absolute beast at the U.S. box office this weekend, earning #1 with a record-setting gross.

Following the live-action version of "The Jungle Book" earning close to $1 billion worldwide past year, the studio looks to have another cash cow in the making with "Beauty and the Beast" breaking the record for the biggest opening weekend ever for March with an estimated $170 million, according to Variety. The record had been held by last year's opening of "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice". The sequel opened in just 5 locations, but banked $36,000 per screen, second only this weekend to Beauty and the Beast's $40,000 per screen.

The romantic tale of Belle freeing the Beast from a curse, starring Harry Potter's Emma Watson and Downton Abbey's Dan Stevens, also grabbed $180 million overseas for a crushing global haul of $350 million.

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The Beauty And The Beast remake follows other Disney live action re-boots like The Jungle Book, which made close to $1 billion (around £807 million) past year.

The film's PG rating, mid-March release, casting, and mix of both new and classic songs helped lead to the film's big opening, Degarabedian said.

The film follows such Disney efforts as "Maleficent", "Cinderella" and "The Jungle Book", remakes which replaced their hand-drawn source material with real-world actors (and no shortage of modern CGI).

The company has already announced more remakes to come for classic animated films "Dumbo", "Mulan", and "The Lion King".

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