"Beauty and the Beast" passes $1 billion mark

Dan Stevens and Emma Watson star in “Beauty and the Beast.”

Walt Disney Pictures

Disney’s live-action remake of “Beauty and the Beast” has broken records to become 2017’s first movie to hit $1 billion.

It’s also the highest grossing film so far this year, not to mention the highest grossing live-action musical of all time. 

Even more good news for the movie, which stars Emma Watson as Belle, is that it’s been less than a month since it hit U.S. theaters on March 17 and it still has time to sell even more tickets during a relatively quiet time for blockbusters. 

The movie set a record for a March opening after it debuted at $170 million in the U.S. on opening weekend and it’s only one of several planned live-action remakes -- Disney is planning “Dumbo” and “Mulan” as well. 

“Beauty and the Beast” stayed true to its beloved 1991 animated predecessor. Director Bill Condon mostly kept the original plot as well as classic songs like “Be Our Guest” and “Belle.”  

The movie had a whopper of a budget, costing $160 million, but Disney will reap even more than just ticket sales when new princess merch hits stores. 

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