Audra McDonald missed out on Beauty and the Beast Broadway musical


Walt Disney Pictures' Beauty and the Beast grossed a dazzling $170 million domestically for the seventh-biggest debut of all-time, the #1 March debut ever (beating Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice's $166 million), and the #1 PG movie debut of all time.

Beauty's opening weekend success was evident early on when it logged a $64.1 million opening day.

In the UK, Beauty And The Beast had the biggest opening ever for a musical, moving ahead of Universal's Les Miserables.

Beauty and the Beast was scripted by Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos with music by Disney veterans Alan Menken and Tim Rice.

With another $180 million from outside the U.S., Beauty and the Beast is expected to top $1 billion worldwide.

The new movie features Emma Watson as Belle, opposite Dan Stevens as the titular Beast, and the star-studded cast had a blast belting out songs onset.

The phenomenal start for the film gives more fuel to Disney's DISN, -0.67% strategy of making live-action, visual effects-filled remakes of its animated classics.

And then Disney's live action take on Beauty & The Beast came along.

"Beauty" will likely be the crown jewel in Disney's venture into this live-action remake genre, as previous releases like "Alice in Wonderland" and particularly "The Jungle Book" have been successful at the box office, but "Beauty" had a better opening weekend than all of them. Fourth belongs to Universal's Get out, which brought in an estimated $13.2 million. They're now developing movies based on Dumbo, Mulan and Aladdin.

As if that weren't enough, the film beat a number of other records as well, according to T.H.R.-including the best domestic opening ever for a PG film, handily beating out Finding Dory, which opened with $135 million a year ago.

Belle is now within striking distance of Marvel Studios' Iron Man 3, though it appears that it will fall short of the Robert Downey Jr and Shane Black film's $174 million.

Fox's superhero offering Logan took third place, pulling in US$17.5 million and bringing its nationwide total to US$184 million.