Disney’s Beauty and the Beast sets new global records over opening weekend

Disney’s live action Beauty and the Beast has opened over the weekend to a whopping $170 million from 4,210 theatres at the North American box office.

Overseas, the updated version of the classic 1991 animated musical has also delighted fans, earning $180 million to deliver a global total of $350 million.

The film has set a number of new records including the biggets start ever for a PG title both in North America and abroad, surpassing the $166 million domestic debut of last year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice to land the top March opening of all time.

Beauty and the Beast now boasts the seventh-biggest domestic opening for any film outside of summer, with the exception of December 2015’s Disney blockbuster Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

“There were a combination of factors that made this a recipe for success. There was a nostalgia for the original and the Disney brand. Plus, there is an iconic soundtrack with old and new songs,” said Disney distribution chief, Dave Hollis.

“Emma Watson was perfectly cast as Belle. The visual effects were also their own character. And I love our date. We have five weeks of rolling spring break ahead of us.”

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