‘The Little Mermaid’ reboot heads toward $100 million opening weekend: one of the biggest releases of 2023

Updated May 24, 2023 05:02 PM EDT

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from Disney The little Mermaid is projected to generate $100 million in North America during its opening weekend from Friday to Sunday, Variety and Deadline reported Wednesday, making the live-action remake one of the biggest releases this year, but still well short of blockbusters. The Super Mario Bros. movie and guardians of the galaxy vol. 3.

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After nearly three years of production on a budget of $250 million, The little Mermaid opens Thursday in approximately 4,300 theaters across North America, where it is expected to gross $100 million through Sunday night and $120 million by the end of the holiday Monday.

If projections hold up, the remake of the 1989 Disney classic would follow other 2023 releases like Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, the Super Mario Bros. and guardians of the galaxy vol. 3 surpass $100 million during its opening weekend, though it’s a far cry from the Mario bros movieThe $146 million opening.

That would also put it in the middle of Disney’s recent live-action remakes, well behind 2019’s. The Lion King ($191 million) and 2017 Beauty and the Beast ($174 million), but more than double from 2019 Dumbo ($45 million).

Worldwide, the long-awaited remake, directed by Rob Marshall (Maria poppin’s return, In the woods) and starring Halle Bailey as Ariel and Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, is expected to gross $180 million in its opening weekend, Deadline informed.


Reviews for the film have been mixed, but generally positive, with critics on Rotten Tomatoes giving it a score of 73% and critics on Metacritic giving it a score of 59. A review in Variety praised the performances of Bailey and McCarthy, but lamented Marshall’s “distracting visual effect” for detracting from the remake. the hollywood reporter he was also bland about the film, saying that he “nearly drowned in déjà vu”.


Weeks before its release, fans criticized the live-action remake after seeing Ariel’s reanimated sidekick, Flounder, in the film’s first trailer. Critics argued that the animated background dweller looks uncomfortably realistic, marking a departure from the cartoonish yellow original and coming dangerously close to a phenomenon known all too well among 2004 fans. The polar Express or 2019 cats like “uncanny valley”, an eerie middle ground between ultra-cartoonish animation and real life. The film also faced a racist backlash for presenting Ariel as a black woman, as opposed to the redheaded white mermaid in the 1989 original, with some people tweeting #NotMyAriel in response. (Disney’s Freeform Network slammed the reviews, emphasizing that Ariel is a fictional character.)

Other reading

‘The Little Mermaid’ Draws Criticism For Flounder’s Uncomfortably Realistic Design: The Latest Controversy For The Movie (Forbes)

How ‘The Little Mermaid’ Ranks Among the Rest of Disney’s Live-Action Remakes (Forbes)

‘The Little Mermaid’ Review: Halle Bailey Charms In Disney’s New Live-Action Movie (Forbes)

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