Disney’s highly anticipated live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid” is off to a swimming start, proving once again the box office magic of reimagining classic princess tales. With a captivating $10.3M in previews and a $38M opening day, the film is poised to reel in an impressive $105M over its three-day weekend and $125M over its four-day opening across 4,320 theaters, according to insider reports.
Breathing New Life
Directed by Rob Marshall, this live-action adaptation breathes fresh life into the beloved animated classic, earning accolades both above and under the sea. The film’s triumph at the box office also sends a positive signal for the success of the upcoming predominantly female-led summer blockbuster – Warner Bros’ “Barbie”, set to release at the end of July.
On track for success on Memorial Day
If the current pace holds, “The Little Mermaid” is projected to secure the fourth-highest Memorial Day opening ever, trailing behind “Top Gun: Maverick” ($160.5M in 2022), “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” ($153M in 2007), and “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” ($152M in 2008). Notably, Ariel’s adventure dethrones “Aladdin’s” four-day holiday start of $116.8M, setting a new record for a live-action adaptation of a Disney animation.
The $10.3M preview figure, which includes $850K from special Wednesday fan showtimes, has been rolled into Friday’s opening day total, making “The Little Mermaid” the seventh-best ever preview for a PG- or G-rated title.
May is Full of Movie Heavy Hitters
As “The Little Mermaid” continues to ride the high tide, May’s heavy hitters like Universal’s “Fast X” and Disney’s “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3” provide a solid backbone for the holiday weekend. Meanwhile, the performance of the counterprogramming entries – Legendary/Screen Gems’ “The Machine”, Lionsgate’s Sebastian Maniscalco comedy “About My Father”, and Open Road/Briarcliff’s Gerard Butler movie “Kandahar”, remains to be seen. As these films navigate the weekend, further analysis will shed light on their respective fates.
Overall, “The Little Mermaid’s” successful launch reaffirms the winning formula of transforming timeless Disney animations into live-action spectacles, while bolstering the potential of female-skewed summer blockbusters.