Disney’s live-action The Littler Mermaid released this weekend and immediately swam to the top (read Daps Magic’s review here). It is on track to bring in $118 million at the box office over the four-day holiday weekend. It is expected that $98 million will come in over the weekend. This makes this opening the fifth strongest opening for Memorial Day weekend.
The live-action film has a unique blend of nostalgia that is family-friendly and draws fans of all ages in to see this new approach to this classic animated movie that was first released 35 years ago.
“It’s a classic,” said Tony Chambers. Disney’s head of distribution. “You ask a lot of women or men of my age and it’s ‘Little Mermaid’ and ‘Beauty and the Beast’ that rank as their favorite animated movie. It’s a story that takes them back to their respective childhoods and this movie is the perfect opportunity for a lot of people to pass that love on to the next generation.”
The successful opening weekend is an important thing for the movie which relied heavily on CGI, which is expensive, to bring the story to life. The film had a production budget of around $250 million. Internationally the film also added to the film’s success as it brought in an additional $68.3 million in 51 markets.
In the United States, the audience was 68% female. 25% of ticket buyers were aged 25-34 and kids accounted for 22% of the opening weekend crowd.
The apparent success of The Little Mermaid continues a trend of Disney successfully re-imagining some of its biggest animated classics and giving them the live-action treatment. Previously, films like Aladdin, The Lion King, and Beauty and the Beast have all driven past the $1 billion mark at the box office. If the film continues to be as successful as this opening weekend suggests it will be, expect The Little Mermaid to join these other movies in the billion-dollar club.
The success of The Little Mermaid also will most likely encourage Disney to continue to tap into its animated classics and remake them in a new live-action way. Recently it was announced that Moana will be joining the roster of animated films that will get the live-action treatment. Expect more movies to be announced in the coming years.
What do you think about the success of The Little Mermaid during its opening weekend at the box office? Have you seen it yet? What did you think? What future movies that are currently animated do you think will be turned into live-action flicks? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!