Will it be #1 at the box office in 2017?
Previewed last year here at borg.com and teased even earlier here, the live-action version of Beauty and the Beast, starring the Harry Potter series’ Emma Watson as Belle, is on its way to theaters this year. Disney just released a new television spot and theatrical poster showcasing leads Watson and Dan Stevens and the all-star cast. You can’t understate how significant this film will be for Disney this year at the box office, with the potential to rival both Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars: Episode VIII, based on early responses to the first release of images from the film.
An Academy Award nominee for Best Picture, Disney’s animated Beauty and the Beast is arguably the finest Disney production to come from the studio in its more than ninety year history, and no actress today has such a large and devoted fan following as Watson. More than 20 million viewers saw the first teaser, and nearly 30 million viewers watched the first trailer. Watson’s first major genre role since Harry Potter will make this a big box office winner for Disney.
This is the first time audiences get to see Watson singing as Belle. She evokes Julie Andrews in a very The Sound of Music-inspired setting. Here is the new trailer for Beauty and the Beast:
Dan Stevens (Night at the Museum 2, Sense and Sensibility) co-stars as The Beast, and the rest of the cast is full of familiar genre favorites. The Hobbit’s Luke Evans is the swaggering Gaston, Kevin Kline (Dave, Silverado) is Belle’s father Maurice, the Star Wars prequels’ Ewan McGregor is Lumiere the candelabrum (originally voiced by the late Jerry Orbach), Stanley Tucci is the harpsichord, Audra McDonald (Kidnapped) is the wardrobe, and anglophiles will be happy to see The Hobbit and X-Men’s Ian McKellen as Cogsworth the clock and Emma Thompson (Much Ado About Nothing) as Mrs. Potts, the teapot. Academy Award-winning screenplay writer Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters, Chicago, the Twilight series) is directing the picture.
Beauty and the Beast hits theaters March 17, 2017.