By Yohana Desta. Photos: Courtesy of Disney.
Emma Watson’s box office success is a tale as old as time. The British star has long been one of the world’s most valuable young actresses, thanks to her early boost from the Harry Potter series—and now her new film is besting a record previously set by the wizarding franchise.
Over the weekend, Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast, directed by Bill Condon and starring Watson as Belle, had the seventh-biggest domestic box office launch of all time, per The Hollywood Reporter. The film it knocked out of the No. 7 spot? That would be Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, the final installment in the magical film series that starred Watson as brainy witch Hermione Granger, and earned $169.2 million its opening weekend. Beast’s opening figures are still being counted, but the film could reportedly rake in as much as $174 million, which would actually pop it up to the No. 6 spot—bumping out Iron Man 3.
The weekend figure also makes Beauty and the Beast Emma Watson’s biggest opener to date, and establishes her as the reigning box office star among Potter alumni. (Sorry, Harry and Ron.) That’s not a particularly difficult feat when her Potter co-stars Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint are off opting for more indie fare rather than blockbusters, but it’s an achievement nonetheless.
Beast’s debut also makes it the biggest opener of any of Disney’s live-action adaptations of its classic animated films, beating out previous record-holder Alice in Wonderland.
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 last year. It’s also the biggest opening for a “female-fueled film,” T.H.R. notes, referring to the amount of women who purchased tickets. On Friday, nearly 70 percent of the ticket buyers for Beast were female, though the figure dropped over the weekend to 60 percent. Ah, in the words of Beyoncé: who run the world?
This story originally appeared on Vanity Fair.
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