If there was any doubt that Disney has a complete stranglehold on the box office at this point, which there shouldn't be, Beauty and the Beast has officially put that doubt to rest. After less than two weeks in release, the movie has already eclipsed $700 million at the global box office. At this point, Disney could be looking at the highest-grossing movie released in 2017 that isn't named Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Since that comes out in December, it seems incredibly likely that Beauty and the Beast will be the top earner within the calendar year.
According to Box Office Mojo, Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast has made a grand total of $710 million at the global box office. Domestically, the movie has already made a staggering $326 million and is showing no signs of slowing down. The movie set a March record for opening weekend with $174 million, besting Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, which was the previous record holder. In its second weekend, Beauty and the Beast beat out newcomers like Power Rangers and Life, easily, bringing in another $88 million. It may be a tight race, but it also looks like Beauty and the Beast will win its third weekend, which will be going up against Ghost in the Shell.
This is just the latest in a string of very successful live-action adaptations of Disney animated classics. This trend started back in 2010 with Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, a movie that went on to gross more than $1 billion at the box office. While any movie that grosses $1 billion or more is still a huge deal, it was much less common back in 2010, which made it all the more impressive. Disney also found success with Cinderella and The Jungle Book, which was one of the highest-grossing movies of 2016, falling just shy of the $1 billion mark. With Beauty and the Beast proving to be another massive hit, that should give Disney a lot of faith moving forward, since they have quite a few other live-action adaptations in the works.
In recent years, Disney has had a staggering amount of success at the box office, bringing in more than $7 billion in 2016, marking the first time in history a studio was able to accomplish that. What has aided them in this success is the fact that they have been able to truly tap into what audiences want to see. On occasion, movies like Transformers can do big business without a lot of praise, but Disney is consistently delivering a quality product, which has helped encourage people to show up for movies like Beauty and the Beast. To that point, director Bill Condon's take on the animated classic currently has an 86 percent audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes, along with a 70 percent approval rating from critics.
In terms of other live-action adaptations that Disney has in the works, Tim Burton is currently working on a Dumbo adaptation and next year, a live-action version of Mulan is set to debut. Others in the works include The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, The Lion King and a Cruella De Vil movie with Emma Stone attached to star. Beauty and the Beast is already easily the top-grossing movie of 2017, ahead of Logan and Kong: Skull Island, and it will almost certainly pass $1 billion before it finishes its run. Disney knows what they're doing, that much is clear.