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Beauty & The Beast hits $88 million on second weekend as Power Rangers impresses in US

Beauty & The Beast

Story by Jack Foley

DISNEY’S Beauty & The Beast continued to conquer all in its path during its second weekend of release in US cinemas, raking in a further $88 million.

The figure represents the fourth biggest sophomore outing of all time for any movie, while its current US total of $317 million is the fourth-biggest 10-day total in history.

The film also proved a powerhouse internationally, grossing $119.2 million for a foreign tally of $373.3 million and a global haul of $690.3 million. It will easily become a member of the $1 billion club.

However, in what proved to be a good weekend for nostalgia, Lionsgate and Saban’s Power Rangers reboot also scored highly, taking a better-than-expected $40.5 million in the US alone. The film breaks ground by being the first big-budget studio film to feature a gay superhero.

Commenting on the success of Power Rangers, Lionsgate distribution chief David Spitz said: “We knew that if this was going to work for us, we would need to get older audiences and not just kids because of the nostalgia factor. It is such a beloved property.”

Directed by Dean Israelite, Power Rangers follows five teens (played by Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Ludi Lin, Becky G) in a small town who discover artefacts that allow them to morph into crime-fighting heroes called The Power Rangers.

They are tasked with learning to use their new skills in order to save their town from destruction by a power-hungry villain (Elizabeth Banks). The film cost £100 million to make, so still has some work to do to turn a profit and launch a new franchise.

However, thanks to the success of Beauty & The Beast, Power Rangers, Kong: Skull Island and Logan, revenue for March at the US box office has crossed $1 billion for the first time in history, eclipsing last year’s record-setting March haul of $948.8 billion.

Elsewhere in the US top five, space horror-thriller Life – starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds and Rebecca Ferguson – took an estimated $12.6 million to place fourth, behind Beauty, Power Rangers and Kong: Skull Island.

The film, directed by Daniel Espinosa, follows a group of scientists on the International Space Station that discover a rapidly evolving life form that threatens the crew and all life on Earth.

The figure, while decent enough, has been described by US box office observers as disappointing.

But at least it fared better than the update of Chips, an R-rated buddy cop comedy directed by Dax Shepard (who also stars alongside Michael Pena), which is based on the TV series about two California Highway Patrol officers that debuted in the late 1970s.

The film opened to a dismal $7.6 million for a seventh-place finish – and also stalled overseas, where it could only muster $1.9 million. Nostalgia didn’t work for every release.

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