The live-action take of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast appears to be telling its tale (as old as time) to eager audiences. The gothic romance is primed to bring in a huge opening weekend take – which was expected – but appears to growing larger by every waking second. Bill Condon‘s lavish musical redo of the Mouse House’s 1991 animated classic (the first animated feature to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Picture) is looking to rake in an estimated $169 million over its first weekend, a record-breaking haul.
If estimates hold, the film would mark the seventh largest opener in history unseating Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 on the charts; which funnily enough also featured Beauty’s Belle, Emma Watson. The take would also best Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice‘s take of $166 million, currently the top opening gross for a March debut. There’s some in pundit land who suspect Beauty and the Beast might improve on its already lofty heights with an expected surge during matinee performances and demand for the title nationwide; pre-sales for the film already indicted the film would open large (with Fandango earlier reporting that the film was selling out at a fast click than Finding Dory, which opened to $135 million last June.) More so, come Sunday, Disney will own six of the top highest grossing openers – thank to Star Wars, Marvel and Beauty.
Condon, who previously directed the Oscar-winning musical Dreamgirls as well as the blockbuster Twilight finale, helmed the stately musical which features Watson as Belle, the industrious “beauty” who is kept prisoner by the cursed Beast (played by Downton Abbey‘s Dan Stevens). They begin to develop feelings for one another as both learn more about each other’s true natures. The effects-driven film also features performances – both live and motion captured – from a bevy of talent that includes Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Audra McDonald, Stanley Tucci and Emma Thompson. Luke Evans, Josh Gad and Kevin Kline also star.
Check back to see how high Beauty and the Beast soars this weekend.