‘Beauty and the Beast’ Is Now the Highest-Grossing PG Movie of All Time
We‘ve only just entered May, but in the first few months of 2017, the year has yielded a surprisingly eclectic array of blockbusters. Survey the biggest earners to date, and you’ll see a socially critical horror flick from a first-time director, a spin-off based on a cross-property licensing deal within a corporate brand expansion, and a tough-as-nails superhero side project with post-apocalyptic Western overtones. The latest Fast and Furious installment looks most at home in the top five so far, but more unexpected still is that it’s been handily defeated by the year’s top earner, Disney’s handsomely mounted revival of Beauty and the Beast. And now, the unlikely box-office behemoth has claimed another record.
A quick gander at Box Office Mojo reveals that Bill Condon’s rendition of the song as old as rhyme now stands as the highest-earning PG-rated film in the medium’s history with a whopping take of $487.6 million in the U.S. alone. The romantic fairytale unseated the previous title holder Finding Dory by a margin of over one million dollars, though the brief reign of Pixar’s delightful oceanic adventure calls into question just how long Belle and her hirsute lover should expect to hold onto the championship belt. Most of the highest-earning PG films have come from the past few years, so there’s little doubt that another challenger should arrive in short order. (Despicable Me 3 could be the next serious contender, for one.)
If nothing else, this practically guarantees an increased commitment from Disney to their new doctrine of re-done classics, a game plan that includes upcoming remakes of Dumbo, Aladdin, Mulan, and Winnie the Pooh, to name only a handful. Which is all fine and good, but Disney — where is the update of Fantasia to which I feel I am entitled? If you’re going to cannibalize your own film library for material, why not go with something that actually lends itself to the incorporation of new material?