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‘Beauty and the Beast’ continues box-office reign

Mar 28,2017
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Emma Watson as Belle in a live-action adaptation of the animated classic “Beauty and the Beast.” [DISNEY]
Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” retained its Korean weekend box-office crown, crossing 3 million in the number of tickets sold, data showed Monday.

According to figures from the Korean Film Council, the smash hit attracted 1,028,686 moviegoers in its second weekend of release from March 24-26. The count brought the film’s cumulative total to 3.1 million.’

Also in North America, the live-action version of the animated classic, starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens, continued enchanting audiences in its second weekend in theaters, easily topping the charts with $88.3 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.

This weekend at the North American box office, nostalgia-driven fare was everywhere, producing both successful and underwhelming results.

On the high end was “Beauty and the Beast.” On the low end, Warner Bros.’ raunchy, R-rated “CHIPS’’ debuted in seventh place with $7.6 million. In the middle was Lionsgate’s ``Power Rangers,’’ which earned a solid $40.5 million to grab the No. 2 spot. The PG-13 take on the campy 1990s television show tells the origin story of the Power Rangers with a diverse teenage cast of relative newcomers.

Its audiences were 60 percent male, while ``Beauty and the Beast’’ crowds remained largely female. The divide allowed both to succeed in the crowded marketplace.

``Power Rangers’’ didn’t get the best reviews, but audiences gave it a promising A CinemaScore, suggesting that it might have staying power in the coming weeks.

``CHIPS,’’ on the other hand, underwhelmed audiences, critics and the studio. Dax Shepard wrote, directed and starred in the action comedy based on the 1970s and ‘80s TV show about the California Highway Patrol.

Costing $25 million to produce, ``CHIPS’’ wasn’t the biggest risk, but its $7.6 million debut disappointed. The film also got a deathly B- CinemaScore from audiences.

“Brand recognition will get you far - it gives you a leg up before you even start - but at the end of the day, it comes down to the movie itself,’’ said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for comScore. ``No matter how much brand equity they have with a particular title, the real test is: How do critics and audiences respond to that film?

``You still have to deliver a solid movie that will entice people to spend their hard-earned money to go see something that they already know, or already know about,’’ he said.

That’s where Disney has succeeded, with its latest remake earning $317 million in just 10 days in North American theaters and $690.3 million worldwide.

“With `Beauty and the Beast’ there have been decades of goodwill and the Disney brand and so many more elements going into it than just the intellectual property,’’ Dergarabedian said. ``Disney makes it look easy. Others have had more challenges.’’

In Korea, “Beauty and the Beast” has also topped the daily chart since its release on March 16, except on Thursday when it was dethroned by the new Korean release “The Prison.”

“The Prison” starring Kim Rae-won and Han Suk-kyu took No. 2 on the weekend chart with a very solid 967,132 in attendance. It tells the story of prisoners who commit crimes in the outside world and return to their cells every night. It is the directorial debut of the veteran screenwriter Na Hyun of “Mokpo, Gangster’s Paradise” (2004), “May 18” (2007), “Forever The Moment” (2008) and “South Bound” (2013).’

Another Korean newcomer, “Ordinary Person,” came in third with 213,233.

Set in ‘80s Seoul under the authoritarian government of Chun Doo-hwan, the movie is about a police detective who becomes embroiled in a plot by the state intelligence agency to manipulate a nation-rocking serial murder case. It was directed by Kim Bong-han, and features actors Son Hyun-ju and Jang Hyuk.

The American film “Hidden Figures” debuted at No. 4, collecting 108,201 moviegoers. It was followed by the new “King Kong” reboot, “Kong: Skull Island” with 58,152.

“On the Beach at Night Alone,” the international award-winning 19th feature film by Korean director Hong Sang-soo, took the eighth spot with 14,649 views.

Released Thursday, the film has already sold 20,070 tickets, far more than the 17,924 for Hong’s preceding film, “Yourself and Yours.”

Yonhap, AP