Controversial opinion: the Disney live-action remakes are, for the most part, lame, and the company’s newest move is emphasizing that point.
Though it only came out on March 17 of this year, Beauty and the Beast is already getting re-released in theaters, in order to build up more buzz before the Oscar season early in 2018.
The movie will be available for one week, starting on December 1, at Los Angeles’ AMC Century City and New York City’s AMC Empire 25. Some members of the election groups, like BAFTA and WGA, will be specially brought in and given guest screenings, because that doesn’t seem shady at all.
Obviously there are people who like the film, which did make more than $1 billion. That said, there are probably not many would say that they think the new version is actually better than the 1991 animated version. In fact, it borders on a shot-for-shot remake, but not as well done, and with some added parts that generally fail to improve the story. (See the magical teleporting book which is somehow not used when Belle needs to quickly race home and save her father.)
Disney almost won the Academy Award for Best Picture with the original, but failed, and with animated movies now blacklisted, it’s understandable that they want this live-action version to get the coveted award. It probably would be nominated without being re-released. Even if this helps, overall it makes the company look needy.
This move just demonstrates what we already knew about Beauty and the Beast 2.0—that it is a desperate attempt to relive the glory of the first Disney Renaissance, even as another, with actual original films like Frozen and Moana, is currently going on.