We‘ve only just entered May, but in the first few months of 2017, the year has yielded a surprisingly eclectic array of blockbusters. Survey the biggest earners to date, and you’ll see a socially critical horror flick from a first-time director, a spin-off based on a cross-property licensing deal within a corporate brand expansion, and a tough-as-nails superhero side project with post-apocalyptic Western overtones. The latest Fast and Furious installment looks most at home in the top five so far, but more unexpected still is that it’s been handily defeated by the year’s top earner, Disney’s handsomely mounted revival of Beauty and the Beast. And now, the unlikely box-office behemoth has claimed another record.
Since Dennis Miller hosted the very first MTV Movie Awards back in 1992, the music channel’s annual award ceremony has been something of a fun dalliance into a world where the artistic merit of a movie is less important than its popular clout. This year marks a couple of big changes for the format: not only did the award show change its official name — it is now known as the MTV Movie & TV Awards — it also has become arguably the most inclusive award show to date, honoring titles like Moonlight, Get Out, and Jane the Virgin alongside its stalwart categories like Best Kiss and Best Villain.
In a week devoid of any major releases, we still saw some major changes at the box office, with familiar faces like Kong: Skull Island, Power Rangers, and Get Out (RIP) all falling from the Top 10 in favor of new releases or aggressively expanding art films. Of course, not everything was different; if you read these box office reports every weekend, I’ll bet you can name the top three movies (in order) with minimal effort. Here’s the weekend box office projections as of Sunday afternoon:
Audiences don’t turn their back on family. That’s the lesson to be learned from this past weekend, anyways, when The Fate of the Furious proved that this is one franchise showing no signs of slowing down. It was never a question of whether The Fate of the Furious would take the top spot this weekend, but even the most optimistic of projections couldn’t have expected the global domination that this movie undertook. Here’s the box office estimates as of Sunday afternoon:
In a parallel universe where Paramount Pictures doesn’t alienate its fanbase, we might be talking about Ghost in the Shell as the big winner of this weekend and the de facto start of a new wave of Japanese Hollywood adaptations. Instead, DreamWorks Animation and The Boss Baby blew up the box office, no doubt delighting a handful of DreamWorks executives who watched the Ghost in the Shell controversy unfold with glasses of champagne in hand. After all, nobody’s going to boycott a movie about a baby who wears a suit.
It might be a tale as old as time, but audiences have proven there’s still a few petals left on that old flower. Despite being projected to open at somewhere between $214–245 million worldwide, Beauty and the Beast knocked the pants off those projections, eclipsing $350 million at the international box office and setting a March record for domestic releases along the way. Let’s take a look at how things shook out this past weekend with some of the expected grosses.
Everyone knows how Beauty and the Beast starts off — a haughty prince refuses to give shelter to an old lady who turns out to be a fairy, who then curses him and his whole castle, turning him into a monster and his staff into inanimate objects. Well, the inanimate objects are still pretty animate, able to talk and dance and sing at poor Belle, who should be checking her food for hallucinogens rather than singing along, but who cares, this is a Disney movie. For those of you dying to see the rest of the castle’s inhabitants in their more flesh-and-blood forms, they’re human again in a new poster standee for the movie.
While we continue to wait for a full trailer (ahem, Disney, let’s do this already) for Beauty and the Beast, Disney has released nine new high-res images from the upcoming live-action remake. The stills (which you can view in the gallery above) feature beautiful, detailed looks at Emma Watson’s Belle, Dan Stevens’ Beast, Luke Evans’ Gaston, and all those charming animated household helpers. And although Bill Condon’s film looks pretty faithful to the original animated version, Watson has revealed that they made at least one significant change to the story — Belle’s backstory, specifically.