'Beauty and the Beast' takes aim at March record


Reviews are middling for Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast remake, but all the same, the tale as old as time is looking like a fair contender to break Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’s March opening record. At $166 million, the record won't go down without a fight, but Beauty and the Beast already has some promising stats on its side: Fandango reports that advance ticket sales outpace those of Batman v Superman and Avengers: Age of Ultron, and it's become the best-selling family film in terms of advance tickets, as well. Regardless of whether Beauty and the Beast manages to top $166 million, it’ll still become 2017’s first $100 million+ opener by a wide margin. 

As far as big studio films are concerned, everybody else is staying pretty well out of Disney’s way. In a bit of counterprogramming, BH Tilt and Orion’s hyper-violent The Belko Experiment opens on a modest 1,341 screens. Reviews are mixed, but there’s a big name attached in the form of writer James Gunn, who’s been doing his bit to drum up excitement via social media. Industry expectations peg this one at $3-4 million, which would likely keep it out of the top five, behind holdovers Kong: Skull Island, Logan, Get Out and The Shack. If genre nerds show up in higher numbers than expected--entirely possible, given Gunn's cred--it could elbow its way past that last film.

A pair of high-profile films are hitting theatres this weekend in limited release: Danny Boyle’s T2 Trainspotting (four theatres, expanding later this month) and Terrence Malick’s Song to Song. Also out in limited release are François Ozon’s Frantz and Hirokazu Koreeda’s After the Storm.