'Beauty and the Beast' enchants S. Korean box office

Emma Watson explained that one of the stuntmen who had to throw a snowball at her kept missing and it put a lot of pressure on him.       Disney  ABC

Emma Watson explained that one of the stuntmen who had to throw a snowball at her kept missing and it put a lot of pressure on him. Disney ABC

A dazzling $22.8M in the United Kingdom gave BATB the highest grossing 3-day opening weekend ever for a PG title; and China opened to $44.8M for the biggest-ever Disney Live Action launch weekend.

It's a tale as old as time, but Beauty and the Beast's new box office record is as fresh as can be.

"Beauty and the Beast" blew past the previous record-holder for G- or PG-rated releases, according to studio estimates Sunday.

"Beauty" recorded the seventh best opening overall in the United States and Canada.

Horror has been one of the most ripe box office draws early this year, pulling massive box office results with movies like Get Out, Split, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, and Rings.

Director Bill Condon kept the basic plot intact, while fleshing out a bit more of Belle's backstory, and retaining a soundtrack that includes Be Our Guest and Belle, the report said.

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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). Audiences responded to the film in ways you don't often see.

The phenomenal start for the film gives more fuel to Disney's DISN, -0.67% strategy of making live-action, visual effects-filled remakes of its animated classics.

I found myself singing along to renditions of Disney musical originals, such as "Beauty and the Beast" and "Gaston", which maintained the same lyrics as the 1991 animated movie. Online ticket seller Fandango said the film is the best advance-selling family movie in the Los Angeles company's 17-year history.

Other live action remakes in development at Disney: "Dumbo", "The Lion King", "Aladdin", "Mulan" and "Pinocchio".

What is surprising though is just how successful an opening it's turning out to be. Nevertheless, Beauty and the Beast could make around $650-750 million overseas, which would result in a worldwide total of $1.15-1.25 billion if it can also sustain its performance in the coming weeks.

Danny Boyle's "Trainspotting" sequel, "T2: Trainspotting", from Sony Pictures debuted in five theaters in NY and Los Angeles, earning $180,000 for a strong per-theater average of $36,000.

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