Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ still No. 1 for second weekend

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Beauty may be fleeting, but it’s got legs at the box office.

“Beauty and the Beast,” Walt Disney Co.’s live-action remake of the animated classic, was the No. 1 film in North American theaters for a second-straight weekend, easily outdrawing new pictures including fresh versions of “Power Rangers” and “CHiPs.”

The Disney film featuring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens generated weekend sales of $88.3 million in U.S. and Canadian theaters, ComScore Inc. estimated in an emailed statement Sunday. The studio was forecasting as much as $85 million. “Power Rangers” and “CHiPS” placed second and seventh, respectively, while the new sci-fi “Life” landed in fourth.

Disney is bolstering its slate of “Star Wars,” Marvel and animated features with live-action remakes culled from its library of past hits. While not all have done well, the studio has delivered successful reboots of “Cinderella,” “Alice in Wonderland” and a new take on “Sleeping Beauty” with “Maleficent.” Dozens more are in the pipeline.

In “Beauty and the Beast,” Watson stars as bookworm Belle. She falls in love with a prince, played by Stevens, who is cursed to live as a beast. The film has a 70 percent favorable rating on Rottentomatoes.com, which boils critics’ reviews into a single score. The film set a record for a March opening last weekend with its $174.8 million domestic tally.

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.’s “Power Rangers” took in $40.5 million in its debut, beating the $36 million forecast at BoxOfficePro.com. The movie tells the story of high-school superheroes who use their powers to save the world. It scored a 45 percent rating at Rottentomatoes.com.

“Life,” from Sony Corp.’s film division, opened with sales of $12.6 million, less than the $18 million forecast at Box Office Mojo. Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhaal star as scientists who discover alien life that threatens Earth. It scored a 65 percent rating on Rottentomatoes.com.

“CHiPS” opened with sales of $7.6 million, missing the $8.25 million forecast of BoxOfficePro. The film, from Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros. studio, is based on a 1970s TV series about California Highway Patrol officers. It scored a 30 percent favorable rating on Rottentomatoes.com.

(The Washington Post)