HOLLYWOOD—With the success of the film “Beauty and The Beast,” which I believe exceeded expectations, breaking numerous records and bringing in a beastly $170 million from U.S. audiences during its box-office debut. Globally, the film made $350 million in its first weekend, including $44.8 million in China. The film, which retells the French fairy tale of a snobby beast until he can love and be loved back, follows other Disney remakes such as “Cinderella” and “The Jungle Book,” which grossed $103.6 million in its opening weekend.
The movie, which cost $160 million to make, stars Emma Watson as Belle, and features Emma Thompson, Ewan McGregor and Ian McKellen. It is the first live-action adaptation from Disney to be a full musical and while many will love hearing those classic songs again, it means the movie has to do them justice. It did, by the box-office success. “Beauty and The Beast” will be released in Malaysia without any cuts, however, the film was pulled from Kuwaiti cinemas. In Russia, it has been given a 16+ rating.
Next month, Disney will be releasing “Born in China.” While Disney has built their reputation on animation, the studio has been making nature documentaries for almost as long. John Krasinski will narrate this story of three animals families within the titular nation, giant pandas, golden monkeys, and snow leopards. While this film certainly won’t set the box-office on fire, it could end up being as magic as anything Disney does this year. The film is scheduled for release on April 21.
On May 5, “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2” is scheduled for release. We’ll have to wait and see if this film will have us cheering. On May 26, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” is scheduled for release. Let’s see if the film will go out on a high note. If the movie goes back to the basic ideas that made the first film work, than maybe it has a shot. With a new villain in Javier Bardem and the return of some classic characters, maybe the combination of old and new is what the series needs. June gives us “Cars 3.” Pixar is promising a more grounded and emotional story than we saw in “Cars 2.” Let’s see if we’re ready to take a ride with this one, which is scheduled to be released on June 16.
On July 7, we’ll see “Spider-Man: Homecoming.” Spider-Man joined marvel’s cinematic universe last summer in “Captain America: Civil War.” Now that he’s back in the fold, Marvel is wasting no time in putting their new wall-crawler front and center. The film will let us see how well Marvel and Sony are working together on their new joint venture. Are we ready for yet another Spider-Man?
Four months later, “Thor: Ragnarok,” will be released on November 3. Thor has been the brightest star in the Marvel universe. Truth be told, all eyes will be on Thor. The addition of director Taika Waititi promises a significantly different tone than the previous films. The new MCU newcomer Benedict Cumberbatch will be bringing Doctor Strange to the film with a much larger role than previously expected. Throw the Incredible Hulk in for good measure, and this could end up being an enjoyable film.
On December 15, last but not least, Rey takes her first steps into a larger world in “Stars Wars: The Last Jedi” continues her epic journey with Finn, Poe, and Luke Skywalker in the next chapter of the continuing “Star Wars” saga.
Rose’s Scoop: Pop sensation Katy Perry adds designing to her resume. Caitlin, a not-so-basic black pump with a playful Rubik’s Cube heel.