Disney’s live-action version of Beauty and the Beast opened this past weekend to a staggering $174.8 million debut in the U.S. and $352.28 million worldwide. The numbers for the former shattered the initial $120—$140 million expectation.
But star Emma Watson, who portrays titular "Beauty" Belle, may not be reaping the full benefits of the movie’s success.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the actor received $3 million upfront to portray Belle, but is only expected to receive around $15 million—even if the film makes final earnings in the region of the $759 million of 2015’s Maleficent.
THR reports that lawyers, agents and representatives are speaking out against Disney’s alleged "penny pinching." Many say it makes no sense given the success of the studio’s live-action ventures like 2015’s Cinderella—which earned $544 million—and 2016’s The Jungle Book, which earned $967 million.
It's not a sentiment shared by everyone, however.
Others see it as a worthy price to pay for the "box-office power" working with the studio can bring actors (both well-known and up-and-coming).
"If it's the right vehicle for the right star, they can be great," said an agent whose client starred in a live-action film. "But Disney also has the luxury to not have to put a star in there."
In addition to not paying as much as some believe it should, THR reports that Disney has been strict with shelling out for extra associated costs for its films' stars.
Beauty and the Beast star Dan Stevens was reportedly denied a rental car upgrade to accommodate his two children, and Cinderella's Lily James wasn't able to have the studio pay for her mother to sit alongside her in first class.
H/t: The Hollywood Reporter, IGN
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