After successfully remaking Cinderella and The Jungle Book into live-action blockbusters, Disney turns to its crown jewel Beauty and the Beast [BTATB]. The 1991 classic is the only animated film to secure a Best Picture nomination when there were only five nominees. Its $145 million box office total would be equivalent to $300 million today. A 3D re-release in 2012 brought in another $47.6 million. Emma Watson [EMWAT] stars as the heroine, while a host of famous actors round out the cast. Reviews for the PG-rated remake are only lukewarm, which won’t stop the huge audience that grew up singing along with songs ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and ‘Be Our Guest’. Advance ticket sales surpassed Finding Dory, the Finding Nemo sequel that opened last June at $135.1 million, more than a week ago. With another week of added sales, Beauty and the Beast will likely topped The Hunger Games’ $152.5 million debut in March 2012. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’s March record of $166.0 million may also be within range. Playing in 4130 theaters, Beauty and the Beast should top $156 million.
Word of mouth carried Kong: Skull Island [SKULN] to a better than expected weekend. However, competition could drop Kong: Skull Island 55% to $27 million in its second weekend.
Despite better reviews, Logan [WOLV3] is dropping off similar to its predecessors. Wolverine’s finale may slice another $17 million.
Get Out [GETOU] continues to outperform expectations and looks to bag another $12 million during its 4th weekend.
Blumhouse counterprograms the weekend with the R-rated The Belko Experiment [BELCO]. The violent thriller could lock down $4.5 million from 1341 theaters.
That’s the whisper on the virtual trading floor.
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