Looks like there were plenty of people who accepted their “Be Our Guest” invitation. Walt Disney Studios announced this morning that its live-action Beauty and the Beast has officially reached the $1 billion mark worldwide. Beauty and the Beast is the 29th film in history to earn $1 billion or more at the box office and the 14th film on that list to have been distributed by Disney. It is the first film released in 2017 to earn $1 billion.
Beauty and the Beast has already assured itself a place among 2017’s highest grossing films, many of which Disney will claim. Disney still has two films from Marvel Studios (not three, Disney isn’t distributing Spider-Man: Homecoming), two films from Pixar, a Pirates of the Caribbean sequel, and the likely top grossing film of 2017—Star Wars: The Last Jedi—still to come.
The next billion-dollar film of the year, though, might be from Universal. The Fate of the Furious charges into theaters tomorrow (or tonight, really) and follows Furious 7, which hauled in $1.5 billion in 2015. Even if the franchise suffers a substantial amount of audience attrition, The Fate of the Furious will still cross $1 billion worldwide.
Disney’s next chance at another $1 billion earner is Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 on May 5. Of course, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 need to reach $1 billion in order to be a massive success, as that would be a huge leap over the first film’s $773 million total. Still, the interest in the Guardians sequel is too high to feel comfortable betting against its chances to make that jump.
Disney made its own big bet on reimagining one of its most revered animated classics and it paid off in a big way with the tale as old as time. Speaking of which, time is all that can tell which films will join Beauty and the Beast in 2017’s $1 billion club.