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March 7, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The relatively low-budget Beastly, starring Alex Pettyfer and Vanessa Hudgens, may finally make some money for CBS Films, whose initial releases have amounted to a string of flops. The film, a contemporary take on Beauty and the Beast set in high school, earned an estimated $10.1 million at the box office, a respectable amount given the fact that it reportedly cost only $17 million to make. The film received mixed reviews. Several critics commented that it lived up to its name. Claudia Puig in USA Today scored its “awkward dialogue, a ridiculous plot and lackluster performances.” Likewise Peter Howell in the Toronto Star complained about its “atrocious script, direction and acting” and called it “a Beauty and the Beast update for the Twilight set.” On the other hand, Mick LaSalle in the San Francisco Chronicle described it as “a sweet film … an exploration of beauty, inner and outer.” Manohla Dargis in the New York Times wrote that it was “surprisingly painless” but suggested that viewers wait for it to come to their TV sets. “This is the kind of cornball entertainment that rainy afternoons were made for,” she wrote. And Mark Olsen in the Los Angeles Times pronounced it, “a sly and pleasant-enough young-adult programmer that is more likable than not.”