The Weird Reason 'Beauty and the Beast' Is Slaying at the Box Office Right Now

Isabella Bridie DeLeo

With cineplexes closed across the country, drive-in theaters are now the movie experience of choice if you want a little more ambiance than just streaming Netflix or Hulu or watching virtual theaters from your couch. And that’s reflected at the box office (although the term box office, and its harkening back to pre-coronavirus movie days with physical ticket stubs and buttery popcorn even feels weirdly out of sorts). 

Now, the film that’s topping the box office is not a new release at all, and it couldn’t feel farther away from your typical summer blockbuster: it’s Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Deadline reports that the 2017 film grossed nearly $470K from 527 drive-in theaters across the U.S. These days, it’s uncharted territory for Hollywood and it appears that Disney is taking advantage of the lucrative opportunities that drive-ins now offer and is releasing reissues of their films widely. Disney and MCU’s  Iron Man, for example, took the Number 2 spot over the weekend with the weekend gross of $430K at a total of 462 theaters. Is this incentive to pull up to a drive-in? It looks like Disney hopes so! As major movie releases have been postponed, including Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated Tenet, which was previously scheduled to be released over the weekend, I guess it’s a good chance to revisit some old favorites? 

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