'Beauty and the Beast' roars with monstrous $170M debut

A scene from Disney's highly anticipated live-action version of "Beauty and the Beast" (photo courtesy Disney.com)
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NEW YORK (AP) - Disney's live-action "Beauty" was a beast at the box office, opening with an estimated $170 million in North American ticket sales and setting a new high mark for family movies.

According to studio estimates Sunday, "Beauty and the Beast" blew past the previous record-holder for G- or PG-rated releases. Last year, Disney's "Finding Dory" debuted with $135 million.

"Beauty and the Beast," made for about $160 million, is the latest effort by Disney to re-create one of its animated classics with live action and digital effects. It follows previous remakes such as "Cinderella," ''Maleficent" and last year's "The Jungle Book."

This "Beauty and the Beast," directed by Bill Condon, found widespread acclaim and some backlash for including what Condon called Disney's first openly gay character.

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