‘Beauty and the Beast’ Tops Soundtrack Charts for Third Week

Belle and Beast dance

Actor Dan Stevens performed opposite Emma Watson with makeup that mapped 1,000 motion points on his face alone, so the VFX crew could turn him into the Byronic Beast. (Photo: Laurie Sparham / Walt Disney Pictures)

Walt Disney Pictures’ live-action Beauty and the Beast dominates both the box office and soundtrack charts for the third consecutive week, holding steady at No. 1 on both. The film crossed the $300 million mark after just 10 days in theaters, while the soundtrack debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart the week of March 19 — behind only Ed Sheeran’s Divide and Metallica’s Hard Wired to Self-Destruct. Quite a feat for a soundtrack.

The original soundtrack recording accounts for a whopping 230,000 albums acquired by consumers since Walt Disney Records surprise-dropped it digitally on March 10, a week before the film hit theaters on March 17, concurrent with the release of a deluxe edition two-CD soundtrack, packaged with imagery from the movie.

The soundtrack showcases the trilling of stars Emma Watson (Beauty) and Dan Stevens (Beast); Broadway musical veterans Luke Evans (Gaston) , Josh Gad (Gaston’s sidekick Le Fou) and Audra McDonald (Madame Garderobe); and A-list supporting cast Ewan McGregor (candelabrum hottie Lumiere) and Kevin Kline (Belle’s father, Maurice). In addition, it features newly recorded music by pop stars John Legend and Ariana Grande, who sing the “Beauty and the Beast” theme song, written by Alan Menken with lyrics by Howard Ashman. The theme was memorably performed by Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson for the 1991 Disney animated film. The French fable, written by French novelist Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, was first published in 1740. Tale as old as time — almost! 

Dion is back by popular demand on this new Beauty and the Beast soundtrack, performing the original tune “How Does A Moment Last Forever,” written by Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin) and Tim Rice (The Lion King, Evita). Groban sings the original “Evermore.” The songs are performed in the film by Kline and Stevens, respectively, with the pop star versions used over the end credits.

Beauty and the Beast 2017 soundtrackMitchell Leib, president of music for Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, said he approached the Dion on behalf of the project with the idea of recording one of the three new songs written for the film. “Celine was the unanimous choice of the filmmakers and studio to perform this song,” Leib said in a written statement announcing her participation. “Everyone involved with the film is thrilled she agreed to be part of this new live-action adaptation.”

Dion’s Bryson duet won three Grammys and the Academy Award for Best Song. The 1991 film and also picked up a Best Score for Menken, who also handles composer duties on this 2017 verison. Playbill provides the complete track list. Of Groban’s contribution, Leib noted: “Alan Menken, director Bill Condon and I were talking about which contemporary recording artist could even sing such a demanding song, let alone succeed with it. Josh stood alone. His voice is a natural fit for this showstopper of a composition.”

comScore’s  Paul Dergarabedian said Disney’s Beauty and the Beast propelled the 2017 North American box office for March across the $1 billion mark this weekend, making it the biggest month of March in box office history. In two weeks, Beauty and the Beast has earned $690.3 million globally, putting it on track to be one of the biggest earners of the year.

Billboard charts editor Keith Caulfield said despite a 74 percent gain in units — with 99,000 copies moving in its third week — the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack moved down a notch on the Top 200, sitting at the No. 4 on the most recent list (which tracks the March 17 through March 23 period),  available at Billboard.com on March 28. Caulfield said the 99,000 unit performance marks  the largest sales week for a soundtrack since the Suicide Squad compendium bowed with 128,000 copies sold on the chart dated August 27, 2016.

Disney also holds the No. 2 soundtrack slot with Moana, in its 17th week of sales. Trolls, the Dreamworks animated film released by 20th Century Fox, occupies the No. 3 spot, with a soundtrack from RCA Records. For a complete look at the Billboard Soundtrack Chart, click here.  Peruse and play the Spotify track list, below. Also available on iTunes.

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