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Box Office: ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Belts Out $64 Million on Friday

Beauty and the Beast” is the Belle of the ball at the weekend box office.

The live-action Disney musical waltzed to the tune of $63.8 million on Friday from 4,210 locations. Its three-day estimate now stands at a potentially record-breaking $170 million. Additionally, the film raked in $40.3 million on Friday from international grosses, bringing its global cume to date to over $115 million.

Beauty and the Beast” marks a major star turn for Emma Watson. Dan Stevens plays the titular Beast, while secondary roles are filled out by a star-studded list of actors including Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Audra McDonald, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson. Bill Condon directed the picture from a script by Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos.

The Warner Bros. monster movie “Kong: Skull Island” made an additional $7.3 million from 3,846 locations. Starring Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson, the film won last weekend’s box office and should land solidly in second this time around with about $25 million. Fox’s “Logan” looks to round out the top three after earning an additional $4.7 million on Friday from 3,687 theaters.

If the weekend shapes up the way it seems it will, “Beauty and the Beast” has the potential to break and even shatter several records. It should easily post the largest opening of 2017 so far, topping “Logan” which earned $88 million in its first frame. Its current estimate also puts “Beauty” ahead of “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” which holds the record for largest opening in March with $166 million. “Finding Dory” had the largest opening for a movie rated PG with $135 million, which should also easily be beaten by Disney’s latest. If the live-action remake crosses the $170 million mark, it would be the seventh largest domestic opening in history behind “Iron Man 3” ($174 million), but ahead of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” ($169 million).

“The Belko Experiment,” from Blumhouse’s BH Tilt label, made $1.5 million on Friday from 1,341 locations, and is expected to earn close to $4 million in its opening weekend. Directed by Greg McLean and produced by James Gunn and Peter Safran, the film is a horror-thriller centered on Americans trapped in a high-rise building in Bogota, Colombia. The film is presented by Orion pictures, a distribution arm of MGM.

The long-awaited sequel “T2 Trainspotting” and Terrence Malick’s SXSW opener “Song to Song” both opened in limited release. The former, from Sony, made $64,000 from six locations on Friday, while the latter, from Broad Green, made $17,000 from four spots.

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