ByBenjamin Eaton, writer at
Resident bookworm and semi-professional nerd. Find me on Twitter: @Singapore_Rice
Benjamin Eaton

is making plenty of headlines prior to its release on March 17th, and now it's breaking records too. The live-action remake of 's tale as old as time has become the number one family film of all-time, according to pre-sale information published by Fandango. This enchanting new record means that Belle and Beast could be dancing to the tune of over $200 million globally for its opening weekend.

'Captain America: Civil War' Loses Out

Fandango reported that not only was Disney's latest fairy tail topping other family features such as Finding Dory, it was also tracking ahead of blockbusters like Captain America: Civil War, and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It seems that love really does conquer all — but it's worth noting that family films do tend to fare better in terms of pre-sales than superhero flicks.

Reports are suggesting that Beauty And The Beast is likely to net somewhere between $120 million and $140 million for its domestic debut, meaning that the Emma Watson feature could break another record before the weekend is out. Finding Dory currently holds the record for top domestic debut for a PG title, with $135.1 million. With a budget in the region of $160 million, Beauty And The Beast is a gamble that's bound to pay off.

Beauty And The Beast [Credit: Disney]
Beauty And The Beast [Credit: Disney]

On top of all that, the Disney movie is opening to almost 70% of the global market this weekend, releasing in China, Brazil, Spain, Mexico, the UK, and Russia. Beauty And The Beast is rated 16+ in Russia for the inclusion of a gay character (Josh Gad's LeFou), despite the fact that the live-action adaptation doesn't really deliver on the much-hyped "exclusively gay moment". Regardless of that, Beauty And The Beast is likely to net between $80 million and $110 million from its debut in these overseas territories.

This adds up to a global total of around $240 million worldwide, surpassing Disney's first big live-action adaptation Alice In Wonderland, which debuted to $210 million worldwide.

Alice In Wonderland [Credit: Disney]
Alice In Wonderland [Credit: Disney]

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Disney's live-action animations thus far have included a number of A-list stars, from Angelina Jolie to Johnny Depp. Emma Watson is the latest, drawing in audiences who remember her best as Hermione Grainger from the Harry Potter saga. Watson's since gone on to become a powerful political figure and equal rights activist in the global arena, and has bought some of that clout with her to Beauty And The Beast.

The original animated Beauty And The Beast challenged traditional values about what's expected of a leading female, giving Belle a sense of agency and strength. Emma Watson's Belle will take this even further; rather than being the daughter of an inventor, Belle will be an inventor herself is time round.

A New Era Of Fairy Tales

Foregrounding contemporary values is another key concept behind these live-action remakes, much to the chagrin of many long-time fans. Maleficent was criticized for reducing the villain of Sleeping Beauty to an abused figure, despite the fact that this added more depth to the character and made for an interesting new take on the classic (yet dated) fairy tail. Beauty And The Beast has seen its fair share of controversy, from the aforementioned "gay moment" to a stone-age debate about Emma Watson's feminist values clashing with her fashion sense.

None of this is hurting Disney's chances of lining the mantelpiece in the House of Mouse with records and bundles of cash, as the suggested audience proportions are around 44% families and 43% adults / teens without children. Beauty And The Beast is already ticking all the right boxes, suggesting a happily ever after for the live-action era of Disney remakes.


Are you going to be waltzing down to the cinema this weekend to see Beauty And The Beast?

(Sources: HR, Variety)


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