Thanks to star Emma Watson‘s massive social media following, the first teaser trailer for Disney’s live-action “Beauty and the Beast” beat “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in its first 24 hours online.
The one-minute, 30-second peek at the highly anticipated live-action remake was viewed 91.8 million times — the most views ever registered by a film teaser in a 24-hour period. The second-most viewed such clip of all time is the second teaser for “The Force Awakens” (88 million views), followed by “Captain America: Civil War” (61 million views), the first teaser for “Force Awakens” (55 million views) and, in fifth place, “Avengers: Age of Ultron” (34 million), all according to Disney, the studio responsible for all of the films.
If you find that ranking shocking, here’s the key to why it took off:
Watson, who plays Belle in the Bill Condon-directed film, has an official Facebook page with 33.1 million “likes” and 21.8 million Twitter followers — that’s exponentially more social reach than the entire “Star Wars” cast combined as of the time the Lucasfilms’ second teaser dropped last year. (Remember, most of JJ Abrams’ lead cast was comprised of relative unknowns and actors on the rise.)
Her sharing of the teaser is what’s thought to have been the spark that set off a flurry of shares and ultimately views that outnumbered the second “Star Wars” trailer.
— Beauty and the Beast (@beourguest) May 23, 2016
Beyond Watson’s online reach, Disney shared the teaser video on its own highly-followed social channels.
While popular, the teaser didn’t reveal much, giving fans of the 1991 animated classic only a quick glimpse of Watson in the title role with the famous Enchanted Rose.
Disney’s live-action remake follows Belle as she sacrifices herself to save her father by going to live at the home of the Beast (Dan Stevens). But over time she learns that he was once a dashing prince, cursed to look like a monster and that only true love can break the spell.
The Enchanted Rose is part of the Beast’s origin. A female beggar presented the flower to him when he was a human prince, but he turned the gift away because of her appearance and was cursed to appear as a monster as a result. If he does not find true love by the time the last petal wilts on his 21st birthday, the prince will be doomed in beast form forever.
The cast also includes Luke Evans as Gaston, Kevin Kline as Maurice, Josh Gad as Le Fou, Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, Stanley Tucci as Cadenza, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth and Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts. Jeffrey Silver, Thomas Schumacher, and Don Hahn serve as executive producers with David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman producing.
“Beauty and the Beast” opens in theaters on Mar. 17, 2017.