Disney’s live-action remake of “Beauty and the Beast” is looking at a huge opening of $120 million-plus, according to early tracking three weeks out.
One executive familiar with the tracking described it as “‘Jungle Book’ on steroids.” Another tracking analyst even said the film could hit $150 million given that it’s one of Disney’s most beloved tales.
The movie stars Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans and Josh Gad and is hitting theaters on March 17. Disney is being more conservative with their estimates, anticipating an opening around $100 million.
The current March record is held by “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” which opened last year to $166 million. The current second place is held by “The Hunger Games,” which debuted to $152.5 million in 2012. “Beauty and the Beast” is looking to beat Disney’s other-live action reboot “Alice in Wonderland,” which opened to $116.1 million in 2010.
In general, the month of March has four weekends in a row packed with massive movies: “Logan” ($70 million plus), “Kong: Skull Island” ($50 million plus), “Beauty and the Beast” and “Power Rangers” (to be determined).
Three weeks ago, Fandango reported that anticipation for the film is so high that it is selling advance tickets at the same rate as superhero films. The site also reported that it has sold more advance tickets in its first three days than any other family film, breaking the record set last year by Pixar’s “Finding Dory.”
The original film was one of the most successful movies in Disney history. It became the first animated movie to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture, and remains the only one to do so prior to the Academy expanding the Best Picture nominee list in 2010.