Emma Watson, Belle, Beauty and the Beast

In Theaters This Week (3/17/2017): Beauty and the Beast, The Belko Experiment, Trainspotting 2

Ewan McGregor, Trainspotting 2

Each Thursday we look at what is going to be coming out in theaters this weekend, show you the trailers for the big releases, predict the box office winner and just generally give you enough of a carrot to pull you through the rest of the work week.  Week 3 of MARCH MADNESS has the biggest film of the month and two EXTREMELY polar opposite bits of counter programming for those of you who aren’t staying home to watch the actual March Madness.

The Belko Experiment

If you would have told me that Beauty and the Beast would be going into its opening weekend with reviews in the 60% range on RT, I would have thought you were nuts.  There’s no reason this shouldn’t be the classic the trailers promised, but I’ve listened to the soundtrack and there are problems there, let alone what they did to add 30 extra minutes from the 1991 classic.  I want to be hopeful, but I think this is going to be the first big disappointment of 2017 and the weakest of the March blockbusters so far.

However, if you want something COMPLETELY opposite, you could either revisit the Trainspotting gang; the film about a gang of heroin addicts that made Ewan McGregor a star 20 years ago; or The Belko Experiment, which looks like The Office meets The Purge.  The Belko Experiment, btw, is written by Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn going back to his horror roots.  All films will be competing with the first two rounds of the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament for cash, but that’s not likely to affect Beauty and the Beast’s haul.

Beauty & the Beast (Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, PG-13, 2hr 9min)

The Belko Experiment (John C. McGinley, R, 1hr 22m)

T2: Trainspotting 2 (Ewan McGregor, R, 1hr 58m)

HOW DID WE DO LAST WEEK?
KT picked Kong Skull Island to oust Logan, but the film out performed expectations with a domestic opening of  $68.1 million.  Logan, like most X-Men films, dropped about 60% to finish second with $38.2 million, but the farewell performance of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine is closing in on a half a billion worldwide, so it’s doing just fine.
(2017 Prediction Record: 9-2; Lifetime prediction record 47-7).
Kong Skull Island, Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston

WHO WILL WIN THE WEEKEND?
Dodgy reviews or not, for at least the opening weekend, Beauty and the Beast is review-proof.  The film should open domestically over $100 million, and Disney is looking at this to be their first billion dollar blockbuster of 2017.  Whether it reaches those heights remains to be seen, but the Beast should have no problem backhanding Kong out of the the top spot this weekend.

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