LOS ANGELES-It is a tale as old as time (or one dating back to the 1990s, at least): Disney dusts off an animated classic, adds bells, whistles and real people, and everyone makes a fortune. Since Jason Scott Lee annoyed purists as a grown-up Mowgli in “Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book” (1994), the company has churned out numerous big-screen live-action remakes of its hand-drawn favorites, recouping $4 billion worldwide.

The latest to get the Mouse House makeover is “Beauty and the Beast,” set for release on Friday with an all-star cast led by Emma Watson, 26, who grew up playing Hermione Granger in the “Harry Potter” films.

No movie will arrive in theaters this year weighed down by as much expectation, in the wake of a 90-second trailer that generated a record 92 million views in its first day online. “Beauty and the Beast” - which revisits the smash hit 1991 cartoon starring the voice of Paige O’Hara as Belle - had a whopping $300 million production and marketing budget but shouldn’t struggle to turn a profit. It is already the fastest selling family film in history, outpacing previous record-holder “Finding Dory,” according to online ticket seller Fandango, with analysts projecting a $150 million opening weekend. It could also be the most controversial Disney remake in history - and the bar is higher than you might think - having weathered all manner of social media storms over its production and stars.

Among the more trivial controversies was an angry fan reaction to the design of teapot character Mrs Potts, who doesn’t have a spout for a nose in the new version as she did in the animated classic.

More recently, critics made snarky remarks about a revealing Vanity Fair photo shoot by Watson, claiming that exposing flesh wasn’t in keeping with the United Nations Women Goodwill Ambassador’s feminist image. And then all hell broke loose when it emerged that Le Fou, the sycophantic sidekick to antagonist Gaston, was being portrayed by comedian and actor Josh Gad as a gay man. The move sparked an international controversy, with at least one theater in Alabama refusing to show the film and the Russian government considering a ban before settling on an adults-only rating. “What has this story always been about for 300 years? It’s about looking closer, going deeper, accepting people for who they really are,” director Bill Condon (“Gods and Monsters,” “Twilight: Breaking Dawn”) told journalists in Beverly Hills last week.