Disney’s Beauty and the Beast took the top spot at the North American box office this weekend with a record-breaking $170 million gross.
The live-action remake of the 1991 animated film, starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens, enchanted fans upon its release on Friday, and set a new record as the highest-grossing debut weekend for a PG-rated film since 2016’s Finding Dory brought in $135 million.
em>Beauty and the Beast is also the new record holder for the largest March opening, beating out superhero movie Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice‘s $166 million haul from 2016.
“This goes beyond our wildest expectations and it’s so satisfying to see the audience response,” Dave Hollis, Disney’s distribution chief, gushed to Deadline.com. “On Twitter fans are saying that they cried multiple times. There’s a hopeful sense of repeat business for the rest of the pic’s (sic) run. Audiences responded to the film in ways you don’t often see.”
Beauty and the Beast, which was made for $160 million, dominated global box offices as well, too, outperforming the competition in China, the U.K., Germany and Italy just to name a few. And despite authorities banning anyone under the age of 16 from viewing the film in Russia (due to the inclusion of Josh Gad’s gay character LeFou), that still didn’t stop fans from flocking to theaters.
Meanwhile back at the North American box office, Kong: Skull Island, dropped to second place with $28.8 million, as Hugh Jackman’s Logan takes third place with an $18 million haul in its third weekend of release.
Get Out, which now boasts a domestic total of $133 million (the highest ever for a black writer/director with his feature filmmaking debut), and The Shack round out the new top five in fourth and fifth place.