‘Beauty’ proves a beast in sales, smashing box-office record

  Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” smashed box office records in its opening three-day weekend, taking in an unexpected $170 million, according to industry estimates. The film, featuring “Harry Potter” veteran Emma Watson as a charming Belle to the frightening Beast played by Dan Stevens of “Downton Abbey” fame, set a record for a March opening in North America, Exhibitor Relations reported. The previous record was set last year by “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” with $166 million. “Beauty” recorded the seventh best opening overall in the United States…

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