- Emma Watson’s Beauty and the Beast is the highest-grossing Disney Princess movie remake.
- Despite mixed reviews, Beauty and the Beast grossed over $1.2 billion at the box office.
- Future live-action Disney Princess remakes will have a tough time surpassing Belle’s record, but Tangled and Frozen could have potential.
Emma Watson joined the world of Disney Princesses in 2017, and she has one impressive Disney Princess record that is almost impossible to beat. Disney has been riding the wave of live-action remakes for years now, bringing to life some of its animated classics. However, while the animated versions succeeded and went on to become classics, the live-action versions haven’t had the same luck. Disney hasn’t really replicated the high quality of its animated movies in its live-action remakes, though some of them turned out to be highly profitable.
In 2017, the 1991 animated classic Beauty and the Beast got the live-action treatment, with Bill Condon as director and Emma Watson as Belle. Although 2017’s Beauty and the Beast followed the same premise as the animated version and with the same characters, it made a couple of changes and additions to the story (such as bits of Belle’s backstory) that didn’t sit well with the audience. Despite its flaws, Beauty and the Beast received positive reviews from critics and was a huge box office success, giving Emma Watson an impressive Disney Princess record that sets the bar way too high for future live-action Princesses.
Emma Watson’s Beauty & The Beast Is The Highest Grossing Disney Princess Movie Remake
Although Disney has been making live-action remakes of its animated movies since the 1990s, these gained force in the mid-2010s as the Mouse House started choosing some of its most successful animated movies to get a new version. 2017’s Beauty and the Beast was praised for the performances of its cast, its songs, and visuals, though, at the same time, the performances and visuals also received some criticism. This wasn’t an impediment to Beauty and the Beast’s box office success, as it grossed over $1.2 billion against a budget of $160-255 million, becoming the second-highest grossing movie of 2017 and the highest-grossing Disney Princess movie remake to date.
At the time of writing, Disney has made seven Disney Princess live-action remakes, counting both Maleficent movies as they featured Princess Aurora, yet Emma Watson’s Belle reigns as the highest-grossing one. The only Disney live-action remake that has surpassed Beauty and the Beast’s success so far has been Jon Favreau’s The Lion King, in 2019, which grossed $1.6 billion against a budget of $250-260 million. Despite subsequent Disney Princess movies being higher in quality than Beauty and the Beast, as was the case for 2023’s The Little Mermaid, none of them have come close to what Belle and company achieved.
Could Any Live-Action Disney Princess Remake Beat Beauty & The Beast?
The failures of Disney’s live-action remakes aren’t stopping the studio from working on more. Disney has a list of upcoming live-action remakes, and there are two Disney Princesses in it: Snow White and Moana. The former’s live-action version is scheduled for a March 2025 release, while the latter is expected to arrive in June of the same year. However, Snow White has already been involved in controversy and the first official looks at it weren’t well-received, so it’s unlikely that it will beat Beauty and the Beast at the box office.
Moana could have a different fate and could be a box office hit if done right, but matching or surpassing Beauty and the Beast’s $1 billion record would still be a big challenge for the Polynesian princess. Two animated movies that could match or beat Beauty and the Beast’s box office success if they were made into live-action movies are Tangled and Frozen. Tangled is one of Disney’s most successful and acclaimed animated movies in the last decade, and thanks to its combination of action, drama, and fantasy, it would be interesting to see it coming to life.
Frozen is the biggest hit Disney has had in the last decade and has the potential to be a massive hit in the live-action format, but Anna and Elsa aren’t official Disney Princesses. Emma Watson will continue to hold a unique Disney Princess record, and it might not be beaten in a long time.
Beauty and the Beast
- This live-action remake of a classic Disney fairy tale tells the love story of two outcasts. When Belle agrees to live in a monstrous prince’s enchanted castle in exchange for her father’s release, she is at first wary of the Beast, but romance blooms between them.
- Release Date:
- Emma Watson, Ian McKellen, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Dan Stevens, Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Kline, Luke Evans, Josh Gad
- Bill Condon
- Romance, Fantasy, Musical
- Stephen Chbosky, Evan Spiliotopoulos
- Walt Disney Studios
- 129 minutes
- $160–255 million
- Beauty and the Beast