A few weeks ago it was reported that the pre-sales for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast were rivalling those of a superhero movie, and now comes word that the live-action adaptation is tracking a domestic opening weekend of between $100 and $120 million in North America.
Should it hit the top end of the range, it would overtake Alice in Wonderland’s $116 million for the third-biggest March opening weekend behind The Hunger Games ($152 million) and record holder Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which opened last year with $166 million.
SEE ALSO: Emma Watson sings ‘Belle’ in new clip from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
Disney’s previous live-action take on its animated back catalogue, The Jungle Book, grossed $103 million in its opening weekend last April, and went on to earn $966.6 million worldwide.
Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” is a live-action re-telling of the studio’s animated classic which refashions the classic characters from the tale as old as time for a contemporary audience, staying true to the original music while updating the score with several new songs. “Beauty and the Beast” is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart and soul of the true Prince within.
Beauty and the Beast is directed by Bill Condon (Dreamgirls) and sees Emma Watson as Belle alongside Dan Stevens as Beast, while the cast also includes Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts, Luke Evans as Gaston, Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, Stanley Tucci as Cadenza, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, Kevin Kline as Maurice, Josh Gad as Le Fou and Audra McDonald as Garderobe. The film is set for release on March 17th, 2017.