‘Beauty and the Beast’ Ticket Sales Near $1 Billion

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Over the weekend, Walt Disney Co.’s (NYSE: DIS) 2017 version of “Beauty and the Beast” broke into the top 30 grossing films ever. Another strong weekend at the box office yielded $61 million. Worldwide, its total has reached $977.4 million, which puts it in 29th place.

“Beauty and the Beast” soon will jump ahead of a number of other global top grossing films. It has only been in theaters briefly, since its release on March 17. It ranked number two at the U.S. box office this weekend, and ticket sales have remained strong week after week.

Disney has made a huge profit off the movie, which cost $160 million to produce. Disney released an earlier, animated version of the film in 1991. The story was first written by French novelist Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve in 1740. Since then it has spawned theater productions, several movies and a number of television versions.

As “Beauty and the Beast” crosses the $1 billion ticket sales figure, it will move ahead of several other blockbusters, more than one of which is part of multi-movie franchises. “The Dark Knight Rises” installment of the Batman series was released in 2008 and has brought in just over $1 billion, which makes it 28th of all time. The 2012 “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” in 27th place, also barely broke the $1 billion mark. It is a spin-off of The Lord of the Rings franchise. The 2016 release of “Zootopia,” in 26th place, has global ticket sales also just above those of “Beauty and the Beast.” The 2010 version of “Alice in Wonderland,” in 25th place, is slightly more than $25 million ahead.

As a matter of fact, the spread between “Beauty and the Beast” and the 15th film on the all-time global list is small. The James Bond movie “Skyfall,” released in 2012, had a box office total of slightly above $1.1 billion.

The Beauty and the Beast story is well over two centuries old, but it still has legs.