Disney's live-action movie is already blowing past the studio's own early opening weekend forecasts, which then called for about a $120 million domestic haul. Now, Variety reports, Disney estimates the musical to finish between $140 million to $155 million, while a rival estimate thinks it could reach $167 million-plus.
Over at The Hollywood Reporter, they say "Beauty" is expected to make more than $60 million on Friday alone for a possible opening weekend of $165 million-$170 million.
THR added that Friday's total will include $16.3 million from Thursday-night previews. "That's the biggest preview tally of the year so far, the biggest ever for a Disney live-action title, the second-biggest for a PG film and the third biggest ever in March."
Deadline mentioned other records the movie could break this weekend: "Should 'Beauty and the Beast' click past $166M, then they'll steal the all-time March opening record from Warner Bros.' 'Batman v. Superman,' and the pic grosses upward of $169.19M, it will be Emma Watson's highest opening of all-time. What does that mean? It means 'Beauty and the Beast' smacked the record opening of a 'Harry Potter' film, that is his last chapter 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.'"
Go, Belle, go! We'll have to wait for the official opening weekend reports to come in Sunday and Monday. Hopefully these prognosticators aren't counting too many chickens before they're hatched, or suddenly they'll see the opening as "disappointing" if it really does "only" make $120 million.
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