With 13 films opening with more than a $50 million weekend, March is now the 5th most successful month of the year in terms of opening weekends this decade, behind May, July, June, and barely November, which has had 14 $50 million openers since 2010. Three of those massive March opening weekends have come in 2017, including Kong Island, Logan, and Beauty and the Beast, which now holds the record for highest grossing weekend in March history.
Final, official numbers for the Disney film will not arrive until tomorrow, but it’s shaping up for a weekend with around $174 million in box-office receipts, besting Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice which broke the March record last year with $166 million. Depending upon the exact weekend box-office figure, Beauty and the Beast will also end up being the sixth or seventh biggest weekend of all time — behind or in front of Iron Man 3‘s $174.1 million — and it will break Emma Watson’s personal best opening weekend as well, surpassing the $169 million of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (which is eighth all-time). It’s also due to become the biggest opening non-sequel of all time, the biggest musical of all time, the biggest opening weekend ever for a PG movie, and the first $100 million opener of 2017. In fact, it’s going to be about $10 million short of being the highest grossing movie of 2017 after only three days.
In other words, Beauty and the Beast did really well this weekend, and it is likely to continue steamrolling its kid-friendly competition in the coming two weeks (Power Rangers and Boss Baby) because it is scoring very well with audiences, getting an overall A score and an A+ from those under the age of 18, which makes up one-third of the weekend audience. International box-office is also looking exceptional with over $100 million overseas, as well, meaning that Beauty and the Beast has a chance to cross $300 million worldwide in its opening weekend.
Meanwhile, the boffo numbers for Beauty and the Beast didn’t affect the continuing success of the other big March openers this year. Kong: Skull Island fell to number two, but it’s still in line for a $28 million weekend, putting it near the $110 million mark in 10 days. International numbers are running even with domestic box office, so far, and that’s before it opens in China next weekend, so the Tom Hiddleston/Brie Larson starrer has a chance to make a profit despite a $185 million production price tag. Elsewhere, Logan continues to chug along nice in its third weekend, adding $17.5 million to bring its overall total over $180 million, plus over $300 million worldwide, so far (and Logan was produced for $88 million less than Kong).
Get Out continues to be the sleeper hit of 2017, adding $12.8 million in its fourth weekend, and with $132 million overall, it’s with $5 million of the year’s other sleeper hit, M. Night Shyamalan’s Split. Split and Get Out are also the first and second biggest Blumhouse Pictures movies of all time, so far, with a combined $375 million worldwide box-office on a combined $14 million production budget. That’s not a bad profit margin, folks. Jason Blumhouse may know what he’s doing.
The Shack is ambling along decently, as well. The $6 million weekend gives it a $42 million cumulative take, while The LEGO Batman adds $5 million to bring its total to $167 million after six weeks.
The weekend’s other opener, The Belko Experiment — scripted by Guardians of the Galaxy director, James Gunn — opens with a shrug. The $3.4 million weekend isn’t good, but the budget for the film was only $4 million. Reviews for the film have bee middling (48 percent on Rotten Tomatoes).
Rounding out the top ten is Hidden Figures, clinging to the top 10 in its 13th week of release, adding $1.5 million to bring its total to $165 million. John Wick: Chapter 2 and Before I Fall also added around $1 million this weekend, to bring their respective totals to $89 million and $11 million, respectively.
The weekend’s firecracker was T2 Trainspotting, which had the second highest per-screen average of the weekend. Granted, it was only on four screens, but Danny Boyle’s sequel to Trainspotting nevertheless made nearly $200,000 at the box office, compared to Kristen Stewart’s Personal Shopper, which made around $100,000 this weekend on 22 screens.
Next weekend will see four new releases, although none are expected to topple Beauty and the Beast. Dax Shepard’s cinematic adaptation of the television show CHIPs will take on Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds’ sci-fi flick, Life, the sports movie Slamma Jamma, and Power Rangers, which could be a big hit or a giant dud. I have no idea what to expect.