Box Office: “Beast” devours “Kong,” lacerates “Logan” — a $175 million opening weekend

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As undeniably cynical as it was for Disney to further monetize it’s 1991 cartoon “Beauty and the Beast,” you cannot fault the financials.

Reviews were a LOT more mixed for the live action (with lots of animation) remake. And it’s not like people don’t know the story, the songs by heart, thanks to the film and the stage musical based on it.

beauty1Deadline.com is reporting a $169-175 million opening weekend for the new “Beast,” a pre-summer record, a stunning take for a movie that has zero surprises, despite Disney’s announcement “Whoa, we’ve got a GAY character in here.”

Filmgoing audiences are all about comfort food films these days, proven brands with built-in expectations and no jarring surprises. “Logan,” “Kong,” now “Beast” have dominated this winter — before them “Star Wars.” Maybe it’s the times we live in.

“Beast” will pass “Logan” as the biggest hit of the new year by say, Wednesday.

“The Belko Experiment” bombed, “The Shack” lures in a few more of the faithful, “Before I Fall” has another week in the top ten.

“Kong: Skull Island” managed another $26 million this weekend, “Get Out” has cleared $130 million (a rare surprise and non-franchise blockbuster), “John Wick” Chapter Two” is closing in on $100 million.

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