The live-action reimagining of Disney’s The Little Mermaid marked a significant impact over the Memorial Day weekend, raking in an impressive $95.5 million across 4,320 North American cinemas.
Starring Halle Bailey as Ariel and Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, projections suggest the film is set to accumulate around $117.5 million by the end of the holiday, placing it as the fifth highest-grossing Memorial Day weekend release ever.
The Little Mermaid’s successful release signals a hopeful trajectory for Disney’s animated-to-live-action conversions, a venture that has received mixed reviews and experienced obstacles due to the pandemic. However, it appears that audiences are still captivated by the charm of Disney’s classic tales.
The film garnered an A CinemaScore from audiences, but critics offered a more tempered response with a 67% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics suggested that the remake relied heavily on nostalgia, detracting from innovative visual storytelling, yet they commended Halle Bailey’s performance.
While The Little Mermaid ranks among Disney’s most successful live-action remakes, it did not surpass the opening weekend records set by Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. However, the film drew in a broad age demographic, with ticket buyers aged 25 to 34 outpacing children, indicating the important role of nostalgic adults in its triumph.
In conclusion, The Little Mermaid has caused a considerable stir at the box office, reinforcing the enduring appeal of Disney’s animated classics and the potential for success in well-executed live-action remakes.