Fri, 22 Sep 2023

BURBANK, California: Over the US Memorial Day weekend, Disney's live-action remake of its 1989 animated classic, "The Little Mermaid," brought in $95.5 million during 4,320 screens in North America, the studio announced.

Disney estimates the film, starring Halle Bailey as the mermaid Ariel and Melissa McCarthy as her sea witch nemesis Ursula, will reach $117.5 million by the end of the holiday, ranking as the fifth largest Memorial Day Hollywood opening in history.

The Little Mermaid will surpass "Fast X," the 10th installment in the "Fast and Furious" franchise starring Vin Diesel, in the top position, with Fast X bringing in $23 million domestically for a two-week total of $108 million for Universal Pictures.

In its fourth weekend, Disney and Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" brought in some $20 million in North America, taking third place and totaling $299 million domestically.

The performance of "The Little Mermaid" represents a recovery for Disney's animated-to-live-action remakes, after the poor reception received by some recent reboots, which under-performed or were not released in theaters and instead went straight to Disney +, including "Dumbo," "Mulan" and "Pinocchio."

"It works as long as the movies deliver. It is great for Disney to be able to go to their archive by reviving these titles that started off as huge hits in the animated realm," noted Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Comscore, as quoted by the Associated Press.

The box office performance of the The Little Mermaid is one of the highest among Disney's remakes, similar to 2019s "Aladdin," but well short of 2017s "Beauty and the Beast," which opened to more than $170 million, and 2019s "The Lion King," which brought in over $190 million in its first weekend.

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