The Little Mermaid Box Office Numbers Crosses Over $118 Million Dominated The Memorial Day Weekend

A live-action remake of the beloved animated film “The Little Mermaid” made a splash at the box office during the Memorial Day weekend, captivating audiences thirty-five years after the original story enchanted viewers. The Disney release is set to achieve an impressive debut, projected to earn a staggering $118 million over the four-day holiday period, with $96 million of that total coming from the three-day frame. This achievement places it as the fifth highest-grossing opening for Memorial Day in history.

The film received support not only from those who were captivated by Ariel’s enchanting tale when it first graced the big screen in 1988 but also from subsequent generations of fans who discovered the movie through DVD, television broadcasts, and streaming services. This broad range of viewers, spanning across different age groups, contributed to the film’s success at the box office.

According to Tony Chambers, Disney’s head of distribution, “The Little Mermaid” holds a special place in the hearts of many people, particularly those of his generation. Alongside “Beauty and the Beast,” it ranks as a favorite animated movie for many. The film evokes nostalgia and takes viewers back to their childhoods, providing an opportunity for fans to pass on their love for the story to the next generation.

Directed by Rob Marshall, the live-action adaptation of “The Little Mermaid” features Halle Bailey as the lead character Ariel. Melissa McCarthy portrays the villainous Ursula, while Jonah Hauer-King plays the charming Prince Eric. The ensemble cast also includes Javier Bardem, Awkwafina, Jacob Tremblay, and Daveed Diggs.

The Little Mermaid Box Office Numbers Crosses Over $118 Million Dominated The Memorial Day Weekend

The film’s production required an extensive amount of CGI to bring Ariel’s underwater world to life, making the term “live-action” somewhat of a misnomer. With a production budget of $250 million, “The Little Mermaid” needs to continue drawing audiences worldwide in order to break even. Internationally, it generated $68.3 million from 51 different markets.

In the United States, the audience composition showed that 68% were female, and 25% were between the ages of 25 and 34. Children accounted for 22% of the opening weekend attendees.

Disney has seen success by reimagining its animated properties as live-action films, such as “Aladdin,” featuring Will Smith as the Genie, “Beauty and the Beast” with Emma Watson as Belle, and “The Lion King,” which relied heavily on green screen effects rather than real animals in the savannah setting.

According to Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst at Comscore, the success of “The Little Mermaid” provides Disney with the confidence to continue exploring their extensive library of content. With such a massive opening, he believes that the trend of live-action reboots will continue.

In contrast, the latest installment in the “Fast and Furious” franchise, titled “Fast X,” appears to be losing steam in the United States. It is projected to earn around $23 million in its second weekend and approximately $28.7 million over the four-day holiday period. The film had a lackluster opening weekend with $67 million in the US and has accumulated a disappointing $113.6 million domestically. However, “Fast X” is receiving a more enthusiastic response internationally, with expectations that it will surpass $500 million in global box office revenue, making it the third highest-grossing film of the year so far. The film’s high production cost of $340 million means it needs to continue earning substantial profits to be considered a financial success.

Over the weekend, Disney’s “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3” secured the third spot, earning $20 million, and an estimated $25.3 million over the four-day holiday, bringing its domestic total to an impressive $300 million. In fourth place was Universal and Illumination’s “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” which made $6.3 million during the weekend and an estimated $8.3 million during the holiday period. The film has amassed a massive $560.9 million domestically after eight weeks in theaters, leaving theater owners eager for a sequel.

On the arthouse front, A24’s “You Hurt My Feelings,” directed by Nicole Holofcener and starring Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, opened to $1.4 million over the weekend and is expected to reach $1.8 million over the holiday period.

However, not all studios had a reason to celebrate as three new releases failed to make an impact. Sony and Legendary’s action comedy “The Machine,” featuring stand-up comedian Bert Kreischer, underperformed with $4.9 million over the weekend and $5.8 million during the four-day holiday. Similarly, “About My Father,” based on the life story of comic Sebastian Maniscalco, struggled to draw interest, earning only $4.3 million over the weekend and $5.3 million during the holiday period. Gerard Butler’s latest action film “Kandahar,” released by Open Road and Briarcliff, performed poorly with just $2.4 million over the weekend and $3 million during the four-day period.

The disparity between successful and unsuccessful films at the box office this weekend was stark, highlighting the wide gap in audience reception.

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