When Beauty and the Beast started smashing trailer view records, it didn't take Disney long to realize that it had another gargantuan hit on its hands. And the first tracking records now indicate that the live-action adaptation of the classic 90s cartoon will bring booming business to the early 2017 box office. It stands to be one of the biggest hits of the year with ten months still left to go following its release.
The movie, which stars Emma Watson as Belle, is tracking for a massive $120 million opening according to The Hollywood Reporter. The film will be in theaters on March 17, with the tracking numbers coming courtesy of pre-release surveys. Disney insiders are being more cautious with that high number, and don't want to step on their own toes. They are downplaying the monster potential of this Beauty and her Beast, claiming it will open just north of $100 million.
Disney doesn't want to shoot for the highest number possible to keep expectations down. And as of late, pre-tracking box office numbers has been somewhat unreliable. Though in most cases, the movie in question has brought in a great deal more, or a great deal less than these predictions. If the movie does top out over $100 million, it will be one of the top showings for the month of March in the history of cinema. It could even break the March box office record.
Batman V Superman currently holds the all-time March domestic box office record, with $166.1 million. It is followed by the first the Hunger Games, which pulled in a surprising $152.5 million when it was released way back in 2012. Disney live-action adaptation Alice in Wonderland brought in an impressive $116.1 million back in 2010. Aside from that, the next closest big box office draw for March came in 2013, with Sam Raimi's Oz the Great and Powerful pulling in $79 million during its opening weekend.
Bill Condon directs Beauty and the Beast. It is almost a shot-for-shot remake of the classic 1991 Oscar-winning animated musical, though it will incorporate new scenes and musical numbers, with the runtime almost twice of its predecessor. In this version Belle is the inventor, not her father, and she will be the genious who introduced washing machines to humankind, with her father helping her to build the first one.
In the movie, Belle is trapped by the fearsome Beast in his living castle as she is pursued by the narcissistic suitor Gaston. Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont wrote the original fairy tale. The rest of the cast is rounded out by Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson.