Emma Watson knows a blockbuster when she’s in one. The Harry Potter enchantress next occupies the massive Disney princess shoes of Belle in Beauty and the Beast. Disney just dropped a teaser trailer (below). It looks, as you’d expect, awesome. The story is as old as the hills, but this version is a remake of the 1991 animated film that gave Disney its theme song — “Be Our Guest” — and was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. (A breakthrough for animation.) It also made a fortune — nearly half a billion dollars even though it was released a quarter century ago.
Disney knows how to work its magic formula, having just rode another animated classic, The Jungle Book, to live action legend — and a fortune to boot. The US box office alone for The Jungle Book, directed by Jon Favreau, is nearly $800 million. And it’s barely a month old. Beauty and The Beast, directed by Bill Condon, is scheduled for March 17, 2017. By then it will likely have to earn many billions to top The Jungle Book, but this film features the undefeated combination of Disney and princesses. Add Emma Watson and stir. It’s called alchemy — and it yields gold.