Disney’s highly anticipated live-action remake, “The Little Mermaid,” has faced its fair share of challenges but is now making waves at the global box office. Despite a modest start in May and lukewarm response in international markets, the film has managed to stabilize and is on the verge of achieving significant milestones. Directed by seasoned Disney filmmaker Rob Marshall, “The Little Mermaid” has earned an impressive $289 million domestically and $253 million internationally, resulting in a cumulative global gross of $542 million after seven weekends in theaters.
This adaptation of the beloved 1992 animated classic is poised to surpass the $550 million mark worldwide by the end of its theatrical run. With a potential chance to cross the $300 million threshold domestically, especially if Disney extends its digital release for a few more weeks, “The Little Mermaid” is proving to be a resilient contender. Despite being produced with a reported budget of $250 million, plus substantial marketing expenses, the film may not be the resounding global hit that Disney hoped for, but it has managed to stay afloat and avoid sinking completely.
The movie initially debuted with a lackluster global opening of $163 million in May. However, it demonstrated robust staying power in the domestic box office, surpassing significant milestones in the following month. Conversely, it underperformed in international markets, with the United Kingdom being its top foreign territory, earning $31 million. Mexico ($21 million) and Japan ($17 million) followed suit, while South Korea and China proved disappointing, each contributing less than $5 million. A stark contrast can be drawn with Disney’s previous major remake, “Aladdin,” which performed spectacularly overseas in 2019.
Directed by Guy Ritchie, “Aladdin” concluded its theatrical run with over $300 million domestically and surpassed the $1 billion milestone worldwide. The film earned a remarkable $112 million in Japan, $91 million in South Korea, and over $50 million each in the United Kingdom and China. “The Little Mermaid” faced significant challenges in international markets, including racist backlash against Halle Bailey’s casting as the lead. Additionally, “Aladdin” benefited from Will Smith’s prominent presence in marketing materials, whereas “The Little Mermaid” lacked comparable star power to boost its promotion.
In the realm of Disney’s live-action remakes and their sequels, “The Little Mermaid” is currently surpassing the lifetime global earnings of “Cinderella,” which stand at $543 million. However, it falls short of the worldwide totals of “Maleficent” ($758 million) and “The Jungle Book” ($966 million), not to mention Disney’s four billion-dollar blockbusters: “Aladdin,” “Alice in Wonderland,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and “The Lion King.” Nonetheless, it holds the position of the fifth highest-grossing Hollywood release of 2023 worldwide, trailing behind “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” “Fast X,” and “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.” The film stars Melissa McCarthy as the villainous Ursula and Jonah Hauer-King as Eric. To learn more, you can watch our interview with Bailey and Hauer-King here, and stay tuned to FilmSweep for further updates.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about box office success
What is the current global box office performance of “The Little Mermaid”?
“The Little Mermaid” has been steadily gaining traction at the global box office, nearing major milestones. After seven weekends in theaters, the film has earned $289 million domestically and $253 million internationally, resulting in a running global haul of $542 million.
How does “The Little Mermaid” compare to Disney’s previous remakes?
In comparison to Disney’s previous remakes, such as “Aladdin,” “The Little Mermaid” falls short in terms of international performance. “Aladdin” achieved remarkable success overseas, while “The Little Mermaid” faced challenges, including backlash against Halle Bailey’s casting in the lead role.
Will “The Little Mermaid” surpass the $550 million mark at the worldwide box office?
It is highly likely that “The Little Mermaid” will surpass the $550 million mark at the worldwide box office by the end of its theatrical run. With strong domestic holds and potential for extended digital release, the film is expected to continue its successful box office performance.
How does “The Little Mermaid” rank among Disney’s live-action remakes?
“The Little Mermaid” has surpassed the lifetime global earnings of “Cinderella” but falls behind blockbusters like “Aladdin,” “Alice in Wonderland,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and “The Lion King.” Despite not reaching the pinnacle of Disney’s live-action remakes, it remains the fifth-highest-grossing Hollywood release of 2023 at the worldwide box office.
Who are the main stars of “The Little Mermaid”?
“The Little Mermaid” stars Halle Bailey in the titular role, Melissa McCarthy as the villainous Ursula, and Jonah Hauer-King as Eric.