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Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ advance ticket sales exploding, setting records

Disney’s new “Beauty and the Beast” movie is already setting records, and it hasn’t even opened yet.

The new live-action reboot of the fairy tale classic, starring Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast, is breaking records in advance ticket sales and is now the fastest-selling family film in history, according to online ticket seller Fandango.

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It’s beating “Finding Dory,” the previous family film record holder in advance ticket sales, Fandango reported, and could boast a $120 million opening weekend, if the pace of presales continues.

“‘Beauty is a beast in presales, and I think it’s going to surprise a lot of people,” Fandango managing editor Erik Davis told Entertainment Weekly.

“It’s looking bigger than most Disney live-action adaptations, like ‘The Jungle Book,’ ‘Cinderella’ or ‘Maleficent.’”

Davis also said the film’s presales are rivaling those of a superhero action movies like “Captain America: Civil War.

But the movie is also stirring up some controversy. Disney recently revealed that villain Gaston’s sidekick LeFou is gay, prompting a theater in Alabama to ban the movie remake.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news  

The movie’s cast of heavy hitters also includes Emma Thompson, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellan, Kevin Kline, Luke Evans and Stanley Tucci.

The film opens in theaters on March 17.

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