Once upon a time, a lot of people watched the trailer for Disney’s new version of Beauty and the Beast (out Mar. 17, 2017). In fact, EW can exclusively reveal that the first proper promotional clip for the company’s live-action remake of its 1991 animated classic garnered 127.6 million views around the world in the 24 hours after its premiere on Monday, which is more than any other trailer in history.
That record was previously held by the trailer for Fifty Shades Darker, which was viewed 114 million times in its first 24 hours online. Before that, the record-holder was Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which scored 112 million views in its first day. The figure of 127.6 million represents global views for the Beauty and the Beast trailer, but does not include China. Back in May, the teaser trailer for the film was viewed 91.8 million times, which surpassed the record-setting 88 million views for the teaser trailer of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Talent support of the launch accounted for more than 29 million views on Facebook alone, led by 27 million views on the page of actress Emma Watson, who plays the film’s heroine, Belle. To increase awareness, cast members Watson, Dan Stevens (who plays the Beast), Luke Evans (Gaston), Josh Gad (Le Fou), and director Bill Condon, answered questions in a Facebook Live session on the Beauty and the Beast page.
The trailer’s record-breaking views backs up anecdotal tales EW heard from about the unprecedented interest in the project when EW visited the film’s set in the U.K. last year.
“I will tell you right now that the amount of interest in this film is unlike anything I’ve ever seen,” said Gad, whose previous credits include the Broadway smash The Book of Mormon and voicing the character of Olaf in Frozen. “Look, there’s a lot of buzz surrounding Frozen 2, there’s buzz surrounding other things I’ve been involved with. But, this, there’s such curiosity, joy, excitement, and buzz about a film that’s two years away still. That’s an enormous amount of pressure, actually, but also something that we all take very seriously. Every day we’re making this movie, we know what the bar is, and we’re trying to match that bar, if not exceed it in some ways. So we’re very well aware of that.”