'Beauty and the Beast' sets March box office weekend record

They really created the entire stairwell that Belle walks up in

They really created the entire stairwell that Belle walks up in"Something There. Disney

Beauty And The Beast now has the biggest opening ever for a musical in the United Kingdom ahead of Universal's Les Miserables (£8.13 million). The social thriller has brought in more than $133 million in the US alone.

SEE ALSO: 'Beauty and the Beast' review: So, what do those extra 45 minutes get you? That was enough to give it the third best start of all time for a March movie, after Batman V Superman ($81.6 million) and The Hunger Games ($67.3 million).

The Beauty And The Beast remake follows other Disney live action re-boots like The Jungle Book, which made close to $1 billion (around £807 million) previous year.

Still, the picture has all the makings of hit that will continue to dominate the box office in the weeks to come.

After all, will having Brie Larson playing a live-action Rapunzel or Game Of Thrones' Sophie Turner as Ariel, really make a difference to the box office when your USP is a beloved character?

The film has already made its budget back, at $160 million, but factoring marketing and distribution costs means it will still take time for the film to become profitable. It may be the most successful as well, if this monster opening is any indication.

The new take on the classic story has enchanted viewers. Both movies opened in the mid-$60 million range.

What makes it all the more surprising is that the studio is not lost for cash; Maleficent made $759 million worldwide, while Cinderella bought in $544 million and 2016's The Jungle Book made $967 million.

"'Beauty and the Beast' is the latest example of Disney's perfectly executed strategy of going to their animation vaults, dusting off a classic and reinventing it as a modern live-action movie", said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScore.

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