3RD UPDATE, SATURDAY, WRITETHRU: With a further $40.3 million at offshore turnstiles Friday, Disney’s Beauty And The Beast has twirled its way to $51.8M at the international box office. That’s in two days of play and with Saturday/Sunday still to figure. Combined with the record-breaking domestic debut, the worldwide box office through Friday is $115.6M — and it’s looking quite possible Emma Watson’s Belle and her Beast cross $300M when all is said and done worldwide this frame.
Domestically, BATB is eyeing a $173M-plus opening frame, and it feels like the update on the 1991 classic animated pic is swinging with Jungle Book-style business overseas. Although that movie had a different rollout, its opening in the same suite of markets where BATB is currently playing was $134M (at today’s exchange rates).
Without the full weekend, it’s difficult to stack comps across the first few days of rollout. That’s because pics like Maleficent, Cinderella and The Jungle Book opened with varied patterns and in a shifting exchange-rate landscape. But BATB is on its way to blasting past pre-weekend high-end projections overseas of $115M.
Moving into the castle Friday were such key hubs as the UK, China, Spain and Mexico. China on Friday came in at an estimated $12.6M per Disney. Local unofficial reporting currently has BATB closing in on $30M through Saturday. Including those estimates, Belle has already out-danced Cindy there. Her Disney cousin waltzed to a $25M Middle Kingdom three-day bow in 2015. At the time, that was the biggest March start there ever. Last year’s Jungle Book had an April bow in the PROC with $50.3M in 2016 dollars.
In total, there are now 43 material markets open abroad and all four of the overseas majors that bowed Friday launched at No. 1. Of those, China, the UK and Mexico scored the biggest Disney live-action opening day of all time. Estimates out of the UK are at $6.1M on Friday (Jungle Book last year had a three-day of $14M before the pound took a haircut versus the dollar). Mexico grossed $2.4M on Friday. We’ll have a much clearer picture tomorrow.
With yesterday’s bows, the Bill Condon-helmed BATB is now open in all major markets except France, Australia, and Japan. France and Australia pull up a chair next week, followed by Japan on April 21.
UPDATE, FRIDAY, WRITETHRU: Disney’s live-action Beauty And The Beast waltzed into its first suite of overseas markets on Thursday, setting the table with a très belle $11.5M at the international box office. The Bill Condon-directed update on the 1991 animated classic was No. 1 in all openings, save one. Key plays cozying up to Emma Watson’s Belle on Thursday included Italy, Germany, Korea and Brazil. Fifteen more material markets join Disney’s guest list today. Among them, the UK, Spain, Mexico and China. Early unofficial estimates in China have it at about $13M for the day today.
Twenty-eight material markets opened Thursday. Italy kicked of to $1M for the biggest March Thursday debut and biggest Disney Thursday debut ever. Germany scored $1.1M for 2nd best opening day of 2017 and 2nd biggest March launch day of all time. Korea picked up $1.2M for the 3rd best Disney Live Action start ever, behind only Pirates 3 and 4. Brazil grossed $1.8M and is the top Disney Live Action opening day on record and the 2nd biggest opening day of 2017. Slovakia was the lone hub not to bow Beauty at No. 1; however it was the top non-local movie.
Other launches include Austria with the top March opening day ever; Denmark as Disney’ best March opening day; and Hong Kong and the Philippines with the No. 1 first day of 2017.
In China, we’re seeing estimates close on $13M for Friday. Despite some controversy surrounding the film in Russia and Malaysia over the “gay moment,” the Middle Kingdom’s People’s Daily official newspaper took pains to say local censors kept the scene in the film which offered no parental advisory.
The tale as old as time is expected to resonate around the world. Estimates on the international opening came in from $95M-$115M earlier this week. China has been considered the wild card which could swing numbers higher as we roll through the weekend. Disney had success in the past year in the Middle Kingdom and saw massive returns on Zootopia and The Jungle Book. Response to Beauty materials has been encouraging, and Watson, Dan Stevens, Josh Gad and Luke Evans traveled to Shanghai to promote the film at its Disney Resort.
Comps in foreign markets to keep an eye on are Disney’s other recent live-action pics: Maleficent bowed to
$88M $91M in May 2014, Cinderella waltzed to $72M $73M in March 2015, and The Jungle Book swung with $130M $134M in April last year. That’s in the same bucket of markets and at today’s exchange rates. Averaging those out, the opening comes to about $97M.
Domestically, where the opening is très, très belle, 41% of Thursday’s business came from premium formats (3D/IMAX/PLF). Internationally, Beauty is on 654 IMAX screens in 55 markets this weekend, 390 of those booked in China.
Notably not taking part in the romance this frame is France where an annual reduced-price ticket scheme is underway. It joins the party next session as does Australia. Japan bows April 21.