Despite the release of blockbuster and potential blockbuster films “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “Wonder Woman,” “The Fate of the Furious” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” the box office leader of 2017 is “Beauty and the Beast (2017).” The gulf the between the leader and the rest is not even close.
“Beauty and the Beast (2017)” has brought in $503,583,429 in total domestic ticket sales, according to Box Office Mojo. Second place “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” has brought in $378,095,327 by the same measure. That puts the “Beauty” haul 34% ahead of the next movie of the year.
“Beauty and the Beast (2017)” is not only the top film of 2017. It sits eighth on the list of all time leaders for domestic box office sales. Unlike many of the rest, it is not part of some multi-film franchise. Two Star Wars movies, a Marvel movie, one of the Jurassic series, and one Batman movies are ahead of it.
Box Office Mojo reported on March 19 that the Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) movie holds several records:
With an estimated $170 million, Beauty and the Beast topped the previous March opening weekend record of $166 million set by Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice just last year. It’s also the seventh largest opening weekend ever, ahead of the $169.1 million opening for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 and just behind Iron Man 3’s $174.1 million opening from May of 2013. It’s also the largest opening for a PG-rated film, topping Finding Dory’s previous record of $135 million, as well as the largest Spring opening weekend, fourth largest Saturday gross of all-time, sixth largest Sunday gross and eighth largest theater average for a wide opening release.
“Beauty and the Beast” got only moderate positive comment from viewer and critics, which makes its record all the more impressive. As measured by Rotten Tomatoes, the movies received 71% positive opinions from reviewer, and 83% among its audience.
Reviews clearly are not everything.