Although the tale (as old as tiiiime) of Beauty and the Beast is a self-contained one with no existing basis for continuation, that hasn’t stopped Disney from considering the possibilities of a follow-up to their recent live-action reimagining — especially now that it’s earned over $1 billion at the box office, breaking a previous record held by the seemingly untouchable Star Wars. But while Disney has been mulling a potential spinoff or prequel, Emma Watson would rather see a direct sequel, and she’s already come up with a good starting point.
This past weekend, a seismic shift in box-office history took place and went largely unnoticed. The writing was on the wall for Star Wars’ legacy in the all-time top 10 highest-earning films, as noted on Reddit prior to the start of this past weekend. Box-office behemoth Beauty and the Beast continued to generate healthy grosses in its fifth weekend of release, ending the weekend with a princely (or should I say, princessly!) sum of $471.1 million. This gave the film a slight edge of the next-most-lucrative film on the list, which just so happened to be George Lucas’ original space opus. Star Wars and its lifetime gross of $461 million have now slid down to the #11 spot.
Welcome to the calm before the storm. With a handful of blockbuster movies already released, and more on the way, the second weekend in April was a relatively quiet affair, with a few old favorites dominating the weekend yet again and a few new releases grabbing whatever box office they could before things get fast and furious at your local multiplex. Let’s take a look at the projected grosses through Sunday afternoon.
In a parallel universe where Paramount Pictures doesn’t alienate its fanbase, we might be talking about Ghost in the Shell as the big winner of this weekend and the de facto start of a new wave of Japanese Hollywood adaptations. Instead, DreamWorks Animation and The Boss Baby blew up the box office, no doubt delighting a handful of DreamWorks executives who watched the Ghost in the Shell controversy unfold with glasses of champagne in hand. After all, nobody’s going to boycott a movie about a baby who wears a suit.
About a month and a half separate the viewing public from the much-hyped live-action remake of Disney’s essential fairytale Beauty and the Beast. While regular TV viewers and net-surfers can look forward to an uninterrupted stream of commercials and ads until then, Disney has given one last push of publicity today with the final trailer promoting their handsomely-appointed new film. And as if to sweeten the deal, they included a snippet of the previously announced re-recording of the majestic theme tune, as sung by La La Land jazz-diluter John Legend and travel-size pop starlet Ariana Grande.
The tale as old as time (OK, that’s an exaggeration) is returning to theaters this spring with Disney’s new live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast. With less than two months left to go until the studio’s latest reimagining (and guaranteed box-office hit) arrives, Disney has revealed when we’ll see the new — and final — trailer, and as an added bonus, they’ve thrown in some enchanted motion posters.
If anything, the live-action Beauty and the Beast will give us all the urge to curl up with some nice, cozy nostalgia for a few hours. With its faithful-to-the-cartoon costumes and songs, it’ll be like a leveled-up version of the classic, and today Disney has doubled-down on the nostalgia factor: Celine Dion, who recorded her own version of the title tune “Beauty and the Beast” for the original movie, is returning to the story with a new original song “How Does a Moment Last Forever.”
Despite volumes of scholarship from feminist theorists on its undertones of spousal abuse and insidious romanticizing of male brutality, Disney‘s Beauty and the Beast has remained a cherished childhood favorite worldwide. Kids love talking furniture, go figure. The live-action remake starring Emma Watson and an unrecognizable Dan Stevens is hot on the way to its March 17 release, and Disney has now released two new TV spots to further amp up the anticipation. In the first, embedded above, the Beast implores lovely Belle to “think of the one thing you’ve always wanted, and feel it in your heart.” We get a glimpse of the timeless ballroom-waltz scene, some barroom carousing from Gaston, and yet another look at the deeply unsettling character designs for Lumiere and Cogsworth.
I’d be hard-pressed to name a Disney villain I like as much as Beauty and the Beast’s Gaston. In addition to being a Sondheim-esque twist on the traditional idea of a fairy tale prince — vain, violent, and eager to confuse chivalry with misogyny — the character of Gaston has also become something of a method actor’s dream for Disney theme park employees. Remember the time that Gaston challenged a kid to a push-up contest? Or how about the time that Gaston got shouted down by a young girl? It turns out that no one goes viral like Gaston, either.
When the news that Disney was making a live-action Beauty and the Beast movie dropped, we all wondered one thing: how close was this version sticking to the original? Would the costumes look the same? Would the inanimate object characters be changed at all? Would there still be songs? From what we’ve seen, it looks like everything in this version, will look the same, just more realistic. Emma Watson’s Belle still has her blue-and-white outfit, the Beast looks similar, if not a little more uncanny-valley, and Lumiere and Cogsworth look more or less like themselves, just with a few tweaks.