When you think about Disney, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? The TV shows or series? Or maybe the classic films we are used to watch?
If you return the question, it is simple for us: animated films here and there.
The company is known for many things, but the main one is the classics that left a mark in all people even to this date, and this supremacy just continues, leading to several of those animations.
Beauty and the Beast from 2017 is one of the many live-action Disney has decided to include in its catalog, and people loved it when they heard about his film being made.
After all, the original story is an all-time favorite as a princess film that people continue showing to their children.
However, was the movie as good as everyone expected? Or what would you expect from something quite similar to a remake when it comes to live-actions? Let’s find out!
When Everything Started: 1991
If you’re not familiar with Beauty and the Beast, here’s what we can tell you: are you sure you’ve been living on this planet since you were born?
Just in case, we aren’t talking about the 2017 film but rather the original one, the animated movie from 1991.
That being said, it is fair to say you haven’t watched it since. Who knows, maybe some people didn’t want to invest time in it. However, you must have heard about it before.
We’re going back a few decades to ensure every extension of the main movie we want to talk about is properly understood.
Walt Disney Feature Animation produced Beauty and the Beast in 1991, which is a romantic musical comedy-fantasy animated film.
It is the 30th Disney Animated Canon film and the third in the Disney Renaissance period.
Unlike what many people believe, the story isn’t original since it is based on Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont’s fairy tale “La Belle et la Bete” and even takes some ideas from the 1946 French film story.
There’s a lot of history behind creating this film, and, as you can see, it isn’t precisely “original” when it comes to its origins if we focus on Disney’s version.
Now, what plot does the film follows?
The story tells of a prince transformed into a beast as a result of his selfishness, and the only way for him to turn back is to be loved by someone regardless of his appearance.
Then, Belle, a young lady who he keeps in prison after circumstances brought them together.
To become a prince again, the Beast must learn to love Belle and win her love in return before the last petal falls from an Enchanted Rose, or he will remain as a beast forever.
This 1991 version was directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise, while Linda Woolverton was in charge of the screenplay and the story includes other members like Roger Allers, Brenda Chapman, Chris Sanders, Burny Mattinson, Kevin Harkey, Brian Pimental, Bruce Woodside, Joe Ranft, Tom Ellery, Kelly Asbury, and Robert Lence.
Making It Real: Beauty and the Beast (2017)
Despite the French film, this 2017 version isn’t only different by the simple fact of being a live-action and not an animated movie.
Since it is closely based on the 1991 film, it is essential to attribute its inspiration and continue including the fairy tale with the same name by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont.
Does this mean the movie follows the same premise? Absolute.
A mysterious enchantress transforms a young prince into a monstrous beast as punishment for his actions.
The only condition is that he must learn to love and earn the love of another person.
The young bookworm Belle stumbles across the castle, and while saving her father, the Beast takes her prisoner.
Belle learns to love and appreciate the Beast with the help of the Beast’s servants while trying to evade a stalking hunter who wants to marry her.
Although the last plot of the 1991 film is a bit shorter or this one brings more details, we didn’t want to spoil the fun in providing a complement in each one.
Naturally, the live-action movie differs in certain aspects and factors from what we call the “original” if we don’t consider the French film from 1946.
This is quite common with live-action since it is entirely different to handle certain scenes in the animated story compared to what real-life actors and actresses can do.
Therefore, several scenes and parts of the storyline in terms of how it develops were changed.
However, if there’s something we must save about his, the film remains quite loyal to the main version, which is one of the main reasons why many loved it despite the common reputation of live-action being a bland copy that no one like.
That being said, this film was able to be brought to life thanks to:
- Emma Watson as Belle.
- Dan Stevens as Beast.
- Luke Evans as Gaston.
- Kevin Kline as Maurice.
- Josh Gad as LeFou.
- Ewan McGregor as Lumiere.
- Stanley Tucci as Cadenza.
And many more that take part as either voice actors and actresses, or in physical aspects.
Production Team Involved in the Movie
Since the 1991 film is animated, it is normal for the production team to change a bit due to the expertise of each one of the individuals.
For this Beauty and the Beast 2017 live-action, Bill Condon was the director while Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos were in the screenplay role.
Meanwhile, David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman had the role of producers, and finally, Tobias A. Schliessler was in charge of the cinematography.
Unlike other films of similar nature, Walt Disney Pictures Mandeville Films was the only production company involved. The distribution was left to the part of the franchise Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.
After making several live-action fantasy films, Walt Disney Pictures began developing a new version of Beauty and the Beast in April 2014.
Stephen Chbosky, who directed Emma Watson in “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” was hired to rewrite the script.
Disney approached Condon to direct the film. He had previously remade “Snow White and the Huntsman” (2012).
During the process, Condon had difficulties coming up with the idea for the movie in terms of direction.
He explained later that the studio realized that “Frozen” had a large international audience that needed an old-school musical approach. They initially said that they were interested in a musical, but not half the songs.
Then, his interest was taking that film and doing it in this new medium of live-action as a full-on musical movie. After a while, however, he stopped thinking about this idea until Disney decided to continue to pursue it this way.
In the end, the film was made as a musical, and Walt Disney Pictures President of Production Sean Bailey credited Alan F., Walt Disney Studios chairman since he made the decision to make the film as one.
The principal photography started on May 18, 2015, in Shepperton Studios in Surrey, England.
By August 21 of the same year, the filming with the main cast was concluded, and six days later, the entire production was wrapped.
How Much Did the Movie (& Actors) Make?
Finally reaching the main point we are interested in, you must wonder how much this live-action gross for Disney.
Its reception cannot be considered bad but rather the opposite.
In the United States and Canada, the film grossed $504 million and $759.5 million internationally, which led to $1.2 billion worldwide.
With its $254 million budget, the film became the most expensive musical ever made and remains with this spot to this date, 2021.
During the opening weekend, the film grossed around $100 million in the USA and Canada only, while in other countries, it earned $182.3 million in total.
For many, this would seem like a bland opening weekend, but it far exceeded Disney’s expectations since it was estimated to reach the $100 million mark internationally.
Now, what about the cast? Did they make as much as the movie?
There isn’t much information about their salaries or if they had a deal with the production and distribution company in order to earn a percentage based on how much the movie grossed.
Emma Watson, the film’s star, is the one that reportedly earned $3 million upfront.
However, she presumptively had a deal with Disney that would make her earn over $15 million if the movie grossed more than $759 million.
Since it reached the billion mark, she was assumed to have been paid the sum of money in the contract.
5 Beauty Facts About Beauty and the Beast Live-Action
- One of Belle’s dresses in the film was inspired by an apron that costume designer Jacqueline Durran bought back when she was a student.
- The prince/Beast’s coat has Swarovski crystals in the shape of a wild boar, a dragon, and a lion.
- The French rococo style was used for the entire set.
- Belle’s signature blue dress had pockets included in this version to allow her to hold her books.
- All dresses from the film had to be adjusted for the dance scenes in order to allow more arm movement.
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