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Sam Bennett

Sam Bennett

29 Jun 2023 Updated.

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Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” Makes a Splash with $95.5 Million Opening at the Box Office

Disney’s highly anticipated live-action remake of the beloved 1989 animated film, “The Little Mermaid,” has made a huge splash at the box office, earning an impressive $95.5 million on its opening weekend in North America.

With Halle Bailey as Ariel and Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, the film captivated audiences and is projected to reach $117.5 million by the end of the Memorial Day holiday. The ranking as the fifth biggest Memorial Day weekend opening ever.

“The Little Mermaid” marks a significant rebound for Disney’s animated-to-live-action remakes, paving the way for more remakes in the future.

Previous reboots such as “Dumbo,” “Mulan,” and “Pinocchio” faced challenges with poor reception. And the impact of the pandemic, resulting in underwhelming performances or direct releases on Disney+.

However, the success of “The Little Mermaid” demonstrates that as long as these movies deliver. They can tap into the nostalgia of audiences and revive beloved classics.

Nostalgic Adults Drive “The Little Mermaid’s” Success

The Little Mermaid

Audiences flocked to theaters to relive the magic of “The Little Mermaid,” with exit polling revealing that more ticket buyers between the ages of 25 and 34 attended the film compared to children.

This multi-generational appeal underscores the enduring popularity of Disney’s animated films. And their ability to resonate with both new and nostalgic viewers.

The film received an A CinemaScore, indicating positive feedback from moviegoers.

While audiences embraced “The Little Mermaid,” critics had a more mixed response. The movie currently holds a 67% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Lindsey Bahr of The Associated Press described it as “a somewhat drab undertaking with sparks of bioluminescence,”.

Emphasizing that nostalgia and familiarity took precedence over compelling visual storytelling in Disney’s remakes. However, praise was given to Halle Bailey for her “lovely presence” and “superb voice.”

The Enchanting Story and Memorable Songs of The Movie

The Little Mermaid

Directed by Rob Marshall with a reported budget of $250 million, “The Little Mermaid” stays true to the enchanting tale of a young mermaid’s longing to be human.

The film features the beloved songs by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman. Including “Part of Your World” and “Under the Sea.”

These iconic melodies played a pivotal role in the success of the original animated film, which ignited a renaissance for Disney animation in the 1990s.

In its fourth weekend, Disney and Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” secured the third spot with an estimated $20 million, bringing its domestic total to $299 million.

Universal Pictures’ “Fast X,” the tenth installment in the “Fast and Furious” franchise, earned $23 million domestically.

While Universal’s “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” continued to perform well in its eighth weekend, accumulating a total of $559 million.

As “The Little Mermaid” continues its successful run, upcoming releases like the animated “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” and “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” pose potential competition.

The longevity of “The Little Mermaid” at the box office remains to be seen, but its initial triumph signals a promising start for Disney’s live-action remakes.

Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” Makes a Splash with $95.5 Million Opening at the Box Office