Quick question: what’s the hottest movie coming out this year? Spider-Man: Homecoming? Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2? Star Wars: The Last Jedi? Actually, at the moment, the forerunner is none other than Disney’s upcoming live-action version of Beauty and the Beast. Pre-sale tickets went on sale this past Monday and showtimes are selling out across the country — despite the fact that the movie doesn’t come out until mid-March.
The early months of the year used to be something of a dead zone. Lower budget thrillers and other fare that studios were less confident with ended up dumped somewhere between January and May where the risks were lower. In recent years, though, the hotly-anticipated summer movie season has crept forward week-by-week.
Last year Disney had massive success with two spring films, Zootopia and The Jungle Book. Zootopia went on to become the highest-grossing animated film of all time, besting the record previously set by studio’s own massive hit, Frozen.
This year, Disney is looking to replicate that success with Beauty and the Beast. Early reports indicate their bet is likely to pay off. Fandango says Beauty and the Beast has been the number one ticket-seller all week, with the kind of “unstoppable” sales usually reserved for superhero movies. In fact, Fandango says the film is already outpacing the advance sales numbers from last year’s Finding Dory, another Disney film that opened to a whopping $135 million.
The new version of Beauty and the Beast is a live-action adaptation of Disney’s 1991 animated musical. Emma Watson stars as Belle, with former Downton Abbey co-star Dan Stevens playing the titular Beast.
Co-stars include Josh Gad, Emma Thompson, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellan, Stanley Tucci, Luke Evans, and Kevin Kline.
Disney also released the final trailer for the film on Monday, giving viewers the first look at the infamous “Be Our Guest” scene!
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast arrives in theaters on March 17, 2017.