Disney, with three massive hits already on its books this year and a few more biggies yet to come, can gleefully look forward to 2017 with expectations set sky high. The studio’s most recent retelling of an old story, Beauty and the Beast, came out with its first teaser trailer only a few days back and caused a heck of a sensation on the internet. Within 24 hours, the trailer was viewed 91.8 million times on YouTube, beating the previous record-holder Star Wars: The Force Awakens (88 million). That is some serious viewership numbers! Interestingly, Disney launched only a teaser trailer, running for 90 seconds, giving us only fleeting glimpses of the movie’s enormous looking sets and even lesser of its leading pair. But it still has a romantic touch to it, maybe emerging more from nostalgia than the trailer itself, though you be the judge of that.
Beauty and the Beast came to the big screen back in 1991 when Disney launched an animated musical version of this French fairy tale. It was a massive success, earning $425 million on a production budget of only $25 million. As Disney is successfully bringing back its old tales through live action cinema – Maleficent, Cinderella, The Jungle Book – it is quite likely that it will be hitting another gold mine with Beauty and the Beast. The high viewership of the trailer on YouTube is not a measure of its box-office collections, but you cannot be ignorant to these numbers entirely. It is a reflection of the excitement and the buzz around the movie which Disney, in its masterly fashion, is likely to ensure remains till the film’s release.
The “beauty” in this movie is Emma Watson who would definitely be a contributing factor to this initial enthusiastic response to the trailer. We have seen little of her on-screen since her Harry Potter days ended, though she has been in the news for her role as a UN ambassador. Her return to the big screen in a high profile movie will get those Hermoine fans dancing again! Dan Stevens, who made his name in Downtown Abbey, will play the charming prince turned ferocious beast. There is a big line-up of other fantastic actors in the movie, quite many of them providing their voices for inanimate objects, like Ian McKellan (whom you hear in the trailer), Ewan McGregor, Emma Thompson and Stanley Tucci. The antagonist of the film will be played by Luke Evans. Bill Condon is directing the movie, having redeemed himself from the misfiring The Fifth Estate to the more enjoyable Mr. Holmes last year. Now doesn’t 2017 look promising already!?
Beauty and the Beast is scheduled to release in the USA on March 17, 2017.