Weekend Wrap-Up

Beauty Dominates Power Rangers - LIfe and CHiPs Barely show up

By John Hamann

March 26, 2017

He seems like a fire hazard.

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Disney's Beauty and the Beast dominated the three other openers this weekend and is primed to finish not just as a huge hit, but as one the biggest movies in history at the box office.

Last weekend, the live action remake of Disney's Beauty and the Beast not only became the biggest opener in March. It became the sixth biggest opener ever at $174.8 million, eclipsing Marvel's Iron Man 3 by a few hundred thousand and beating Rogue One: A Star Wars Story by almost $20 million. Beauty also pulled in $180 million overseas. Since then, it has continued to roll at an amazing pace. It had $228 million in the domestic kitty before the second weekend began. A $72 million gross in its second weekend would push it past the $300 million domestic mark in only 10 days, the same time it took The Dark Knight and Avengers: Age of Ultron, and only one day slower than Marvel's Avengers, and that film opened almost $30 million higher than Beauty and the Beast. With strong word-of-mouth, the Disney musical could hold despite that amazing opening, and set its pace toward the top five domestic grossing films of all time.

Beauty would have competition this weekend from a film targeting a similar demographic. Saban's Power Rangers opened at 3,693 venues, but it has always been a question mark as to how it would perform. The cheeseball TV show had its lovers and haters, and with two Power Rangers movies already released in the mid-'90s (combined domestic gross an uninspiring $46 million), one might think its time had come and gone. Bring on Lionsgate, never a company to shy away from a possible franchise, and the studio (and partners) dropped $100 million into making this popcorn flick, hoping fans of the original would show up with their kids and reinvigorate the franchise.


The other opener this weekend is an even worse idea, that being CHiPs. This movie is another retread of a TV show, a remake that no one wanted, with Dax Shepherd and Michael Pena (why, Michael, why?), as what I assume are the characters named Ponch and Jon. Our last opener is Life, a horror sci-fi with a strong pedigree of actors supporting it. Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds and Rebecca Ferguson appear in this one, but despite massive amounts of marketing, audiences stayed away, likely because it looked like every other movie they ever seen. So, with only the Power Rangers movie creeping in, Beauty and the Beast had the platter set in front of them to feast on a huge second weekend at the box office.

And feast it did. Disney's blockbuster Beauty and the Beast started its second weekend with a strong $23.6 million on Friday, off an expected 63% from its preview-aided opening day, which came in at a ridiculous $63.8 million. Remember that Beauty turned in a stunning $16.3 million from its preview, which means that the "true" opening day could be considered at $47.5 million, giving it a regular drop at right around 50%, a stunning figure considering the size of the numbers we are talking about and the era we live in. Comparisons are tough when dealing with titles in this stratosphere, but the very similar opening Iron Man fell 71% from first to second Friday, and Captain America: Civil War, which opened $5 million higher than Beauty, fell 74% from first to second Friday. Of the five films that opened better than Beauty, only Star Wars: The Force Awakens had a better Friday-to-Friday hold, at 59%, and Beauty and the Beast tied Marvel's Avengers at 63.8%. Beauty and the Beast is well within the mix of the biggest, most iconic releases of all time, and its weekend was just getting started.

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