The founder of Barnum & Bailey Circus, PT Barnum was on to something when he said there’s no such thing as bad publicity.
After weeks of controversy and back-and-forth of “will it be released or won’t it?”, Beauty And The Beast – which opened in Malaysia on March 30, two weeks after its intended release date – is certified a hit with Malaysian moviegoers.
According to Disney Malaysia, the local box office collection for the first weekend of Beauty And The Beast is RM10.9mil. It is the biggest live-action Disney movie opening in Malaysia.
The Jungle Book, released last year, held the previous record, earning over RM8mil.
Beauty And The Beast opened to a record-breaking US$170mil (RM752mil) in the United States when it was released on March 16.
Beauty And The Beast courted controversy when director Bill Condon said the character of LeFou, played by Josh Gad, would have a “nice exclusively gay moment” in the film.
After much deliberation and public outcry, the film was approved for release without any cuts, and carries a rating of P13 (parental guidance for children under the age of 13).
Another film which benefitted from all the publicity before its release is the new Power Rangers film. Initially, the film was under review after it was learnt that there is a minor scene in the movie where Yellow Ranger Trini (Becky G) is coming to terms with her sexual orientation.
The scene shows one character assuming she’s having “boyfriend problems,” but soon realises that perhaps she’s actually having “girlfriend problems”.
According to its distributor, TGV Pictures, Power Rangers earned RM7.4mil in the first weekend of release. The film, which was released on March 24, has so far collected RM10.9mil at press time.