Disney has been having a ton of success with their live-action remakes of animated classics in recent years. It looks like that streak is going to continue with Beauty and the Beast when it hits theaters a little later this month. Not only is the streak going to continue, but it looks like Disney may be able to beat the all-time March opening record at the box office, which is a pretty big deal. Fandango reports that the movie is the fastest-selling family movie in their history.
According to Deadline, Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast is currently tracking ahead of both Finding Dory and Captain America: Civil War in terms of pre-sales. Last year, those movies represented the two of the biggest openings in 2016 and two of the highest-grossing worldwide titles. At the moment, the March opening record belongs to Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, which managed to rake in a very impressive $166 million on its opening weekend. That was despite the fact that the movie had less than favorable critical reviews. That won't be the cast with Beauty and the Beast.
As of this writing, Beauty and the Beast holds a 71 percent approval rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. While that may not be great, it is still on the positive side of things and a lot of the criticism has to do with the movie being a pretty straight-ahead remake of the original animated movie. Some things were added and changed, such as the decision to make La Fou (Josh Gad) openly gay in the movie. A decision that has sparked some controversy but ultimately just helped bring more attention to the movie. The main point is that there is clearly a lot of demand to see this movie. It is family friendly and things are mostly positive as we steamroll toward the release. Disney could have a total monster hit on their hands.
This shouldn't come as any surprise to those who have been following Disney over the past few years. To say that they have been dominant at the box office would be an understatement. Last year their movies managed to bring in more than $7 billion at the worldwide box office and that is a feat no other studio has ever managed to accomplish. Behind titles like Beauty and the Beasts, as well as Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the Mouse House should be looking at another big year in 2017. That will be kicking off later this month with the nostalgia laden Beauty and the Beast, which was previously tracking for an opening weekend total of around $120 million, but that number seems low now. If these pre-sale numbers are to be believed, we could be seeing a number closer to $180 million.
The cast for Beauty and the Beast includes Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Audra McDonald, Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson. Bill Condon is directing the movie with music from Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken, who is returning to do the music for this new live-action version, having also composed the score for the original animated movie. Disney's Beauty and the Beast is set for release on March 17. And it will still open a day earlier in Russia, despite previous reports claiming the movie would be banned in that country because of Le Fou, Disney's first-ever openly gay character.