‘The Little Mermaid' Hits $120 Million Box Office Debut

‘The Little Mermaid’ Hits $120 Million Box Office Debut

4 mins read

In a highly anticipated debut, Disney’s live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid” is set to make waves at the box office, projecting an impressive four-day domestic opening of $120 million.

This remarkable Memorial Day weekend performance not only secures a spot among the top Memorial Day openings but also positions the film as the first summer blockbuster of 2023 catering to a primarily female audience.

Directed by Rob Marshall, this enchanting retelling of the beloved animated classic stars the talented Halle Bailey as Ariel, the spirited young mermaid who embarks on a perilous journey by striking a fateful bargain with the nefarious sea witch Ursula, portrayed by Melissa McCarthy.

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In her quest to explore life on land and meet the captivating Prince Eric, played by Jonah Hauer-King, Ariel puts her father’s underwater kingdom at risk.

Joining the stellar cast are notable actors including Daveed Diggs, Awkwafina, Javier Bardem, Jacob Tremblay, Noma Dumezweni, and Art Malik, bringing their unique talents to breathe life into this magical world.


Bailey’s remarkable portrayal of Ariel has garnered widespread critical acclaim, despite facing unjust backlash on social media due to her casting as a Black actress in the iconic role.

READ ALSO:Halle Bailey’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ Review

While industry insiders remain confident that these objections won’t significantly impact the film’s performance in North America, international markets are being closely observed for their response.

With an estimated $80 million opening weekend overseas, “The Little Mermaid” is already making a significant splash on the global stage.

If it indeed achieves a $120 million domestic opening, it would secure the film’s place as the fifth highest-grossing Memorial Day weekend opening. Currently, that title is held by Disney’s live-action “Aladdin,” which garnered $116.8 million during the four-day holiday period.

Industry experts predict that the film’s four-day total will include a remarkable three-day gross of $100 million. Although pre-sales are outpacing “Aladdin,” they are trailing behind other live-action remakes such as “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Lion King.”

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The film’s appeal is primarily driven by the strong interest from girls, mothers, and other female viewers, mirroring the success of “Beauty and the Beast,” which boasted a 70 percent female audience.

READ ALSO:‘The Little Mermaid’: First Reactions From Premier

“The Little Mermaid” features an exquisite score by multiple Oscar winner Alan Menken, as well as new songs crafted by the renowned Lin-Manuel Miranda, adding a fresh and captivating dimension to this timeless tale.

While “The Little Mermaid” is set to dominate the box office, other releases are entering the market. The action-comedy “The Machine” and Robert De Niro’s comedy “About My Father” are also opening nationwide but are projected to achieve more modest debuts, clearing around $5-6 million each.

“The Machine,” from Screen Gems, stars Bert Kreischer and draws inspiration from the comedian’s popular stand-up act. The film also features the legendary Mark Hamill in a supporting role.

READ ALSO  Halle Bailey’s 'The Little Mermaid' Review

As moviegoers eagerly flock to theatres over the Memorial Day weekend, “The Little Mermaid” is poised to captivate audiences with its mesmerizing visuals, exceptional performances, and heartfelt storytelling.

With a perfect blend of nostalgia and modernity, this summer tentpole promises to be a cinematic experience that transcends generations and continues the enduring legacy of Disney’s magical world.

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Bisina Somto
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