Disney’s latest live-action remake, Beauty and the Beast, hits theaters this weekend, bringing the classic fairy tale back to the big screen. The original animated movie is one of Disney’s best-loved films, so it’s no surprise that this take on the tale is the studio’s most highly anticipated adaptation yet. Despite some controversy over the inclusion of Disney’s first official gay character, the film is still enjoying the fastest-selling presales of a family movie, ever.
Now, with only a few days to go until the film’s opening weekend, the initial projections for the weekend box office are suggesting that Beauty and the Beast is going to bring in over $200 million at the global box office.
The latest figures from Variety predict that the film will open to $120 million domestically, with a further $80 to $110 million in the international market (the film also opens in China, Russia, Brasil, Spain, Mexico and the UK this week). With Fandango predicting a higher domestic opening of $140 million, that could add up to a $250 million debut for the film.
Beauty and the Beast cost around $160 million to make, and with the low-end predictions for opening sitting at around $200 million, that puts the movie firmly in the black within the first few days. This is no surprise, of course, with the previous Disney live-action films (Maleficent, Cinderella, The Jungle Book) all finding box office success.
This news should come as no shock to fans, as Beauty and the Beast has enjoyed an enormous amount of hype, and has a cast packed with A-list celebrities including Emma Watson (Belle), Ewan McGregor (Lumiere), Sir Ian McKellen (Cogsworth), and Emma Thompson (Mrs Potts). Given the huge success of previous live-action Disney adaptations, the power of the Disney marketing machine, and the popularity of this particular story, it would be far more shocking if the predictions were grim.
It’s important to remember, however, that box office success doesn’t necessarily require a brilliant film to achieve. Many huge blockbusters have been critically slammed, despite raking in the money, including the DCEU’s recent offerings Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad. It looks like Beauty and the Beast deserves its success, however, with mostly positive critic reviews that call the film visually stunning, although some have also said that it feels overcrowded and occasionally lacking. Still, the continuing success of Disney’s live action adaptations means good news for fans of some of the other properties currently in the works, such as Dumbo, Aladdin, and Mulan.