That jumps the previous record holder, "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice", which opened to $166 million a year ago.
IMAX had a fairy tale weekend at the box office as Beauty and the Beast waltzed its way to a record-setting $21 million on 1,026 IMAX screens worldwide in 56 markets, including $12.5 million on 377 North American IMAX screens and $8.5 million from 649 IMAX screens internationally.
This will make Beauty And The Beast's opening weekend either the sixth or seventh all-time most successful, depending on whether or not it will surpass Iron Man 3's figure of $174.1 million. In the UK/Ireland, it also delivered the biggest Disney live-action opening of all-time, the biggest March opening weekend of all-time, and now the largest domestic opening of 2017 to date.
The film will also hold the title for the most successful opening weekend for a PG film, musical and non-sequel. The franchise includes 2010's "Alice in Wonderland", 2014's "Maleficent", 2015's "Cinderella", and last year's "The Jungle Book".
The film, which stars Emma Watson as Belle, is another blockbuster hit for Disney's live action reboots of animated films.
The record haul is good news for Disney since the movie had a steep $160 million production budget.
Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" is a live-action adaptation of the studio's animated classic which refashions the classic characters from the tale as old as time for a contemporary audience, staying true to the original music while updating the score with several new songs.