Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Disney projects $118 million opening for ‘Little Mermaid’ remake

Halle Bailey as Ariel in Disney’s live-action “The Little Mermaid.” (Disney/TNS)  (Disney)
By Thomas Buckley Washington Post

Walt Disney Co. estimated that the new live-action remake of its animated 1989 hit “The Little Mermaid” would take in $117.5 million in ticket sales domestically over the four-day Memorial Day weekend.

The movie, which stars Halle Bailey as Ariel, a mermaid who longs to live among humans, generated $95.5 million through Sunday, the company said in a statement. Boxoffice Pro had estimated the film would take in more than $105 million over the three-day period and $135 million for the four days.

“The Little Mermaid” wasn’t universally liked by reviewers and currently holds a critics’ score of 67 percent. It scored much better with regular audiences. The Super Mario Bros. Movie from Universal Pictures, which is the highest grossing film of the year so far, also received a low critics’ score.

Disney, like other film studios, is still trying to find its footing in theaters as the world recovers from the pandemic.

Some of its family films have disappointed at the box office, including last year’s Lightyear and Strange World. The company still had the third highest-grossing film in history with “Avatar: The Way of Water,” released last December.

Disney’s budget for “The Little Mermaid” was around $250 million. Marketing and distributions expenses can stretch to about half of that amount.