Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast opens this weekend and if you don't already have your tickets, you may want to take care of that minor detail right now. A crazy number of theaters are already sold out. If there was any question that Disney's first release of 2017 was going to be a big deal, it's being reported that literally thousands of showings are already sold out in theaters all across the country during opening weekend.
The report comes courtesy of online ticket seller Fandango. According to them, it really doesn't matter where you live, there's probably sold out screenings near you. It's happening in large cities like New York and Los Angeles like you'd expect, but it's also happening in smaller towns like Billings, Montana and Texarkana, Texas. Whether you live on the coasts or in the heartland, it appears that a love for Disney magic is one thing that we all have in common.
We'd had some expectation that this was going to be a big weekend for Beauty and the Beast. Fandango was reporting that pre-sale tickets for the film were going almost as fast they tended to go for major tentpole superhero movies. Considering that there was an actual superhero movie released earlier this month, that's impressive. Estimates for the film started at around $120 million for North America but have been revised upward to close to $140 million. Combined with overseas income Disney is looking to have a $200 million debut in 2017.
The Disney money train just keeps rolling forward. Last year the studio set an all-time record for the amount of revenue their films brought in over the course of a year. With a $200 million start to 2017, it looks like the Mouse House is going to take a shot at toppling themselves this year. Disney's Beauty and the Beast is one of those stories that has global appeal so it will likely attract moviegoers wherever it shows. Add to that the fact that the film has seen mostly positive reviews and we can expect word of mouth to keep the movie going far beyond its opening weekend.
For the most part, the negative reviews have been critical of the film for remaining too close to its source material and not taking enough risks. While that might be a point against it from a filmmaking standpoint, it may very well be a point in its favor for many of those buying tickets, who very much want to see the beloved animated film brought to life just as they remember it.
Beauty and the Beast doesn't go on without breaking some new ground, however. Inside the film, you'll find Disney's first (and second) live-action interracial kiss as well as their first gay character.
Will you be fighting for a good seat at Beauty and the Beast this weekend? To get a look at everything else Disney has planned this year in their quest for continued dominance, check out our complete 2017 movie schedule here.