Disney’s Beauty And The Beast has smashed box office records both at home and abroad over its opening weekend.
Scoring big in its opening weekend may have been predicted by Sky News, but being the fifth highest grossing movie of all time is quite an achievement for a tale as old as time.
The PG movie broke all sorts of box office records on its first three days, with an impressive $18.4m worldwide, including the biggest opening weekend for a movie suggesting some parental guidance.
In the UK and Ireland it also delivered the biggest Disney live-action opening of all time, which could give the company the final push needs to finish similar projects.
Live action versions of Aladdin, The Lion King, Mulan and Peter Pan are reportedly already in production – and more could follow.
In an interview with Moviefone on Friday, however, director Niki Caro said Mulan would not feature musical acts.
“From what I understand, no songs right now, much to the horror of my children,” she said.
But Disney could still change its mind.
Musicals are experiencing a revivalist hype and Disney is riding the wave.
In the UK, Beauty And The Beast had the biggest opening ever for a musical, moving ahead of Universal’s Les Miserables.
It is also America’s seventh best debut of all time and the top March debut ever, despite controversy in some countries.
Character LeFou, played by Josh Gad, is the sidekick to the story’s villain Gaston and “is confused about his sexuality”, according to director Condon.
The scene was described as Disney’s first “gay moment” and suffered a backlash in countries like Malaysia and Russia.
But Disney stood its ground, and shelved the movie’s Malaysian release when the country threatened to screen the movie without Le Fou’s scene.
Between that and Belle’s Emma Watson changing the character’s background to take a feminist stand, Beauty And The Beast could have actually profited from politics, and helped shape the next decade of Disney productions.