Disney’s 1989 live-action remake “The Little Mermaid” dislodged “Fast X” from box office charts as it brought in $95.5 million from 4,320 screens in North America.
The success of “The Little Mermaid” serves as a “comeback” for Disney’s animated-to-live-action remakes and increases the likelihood that more will be released indefinitely.
In the words of Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore, “It’s 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.”
The performance is comparable to that of 2019’s “Aladdin,” placing it among the best-performing Disney remakes, but it fell far short of 2017’s “Beauty and the Beast,” which debuted to more than $170 million, and 2019’s “The Lion King,” which earned more than $190 million in its first weekend.
Worth the cost?
All of the liquid magic wasn’t cheap. With a $250 million production budget, The Little Mermaid will need to continue drawing audiences from all around the world in order to break even. The movie made $68.3 million from 51 material markets internationally.
The “Black” Mermaid
While the character of Ariel has been depicted as a fair-skinned, red-haired mermaid, the decision to cast Halle Bailey as the new Ariel was a deliberate choice to promote diversity and inclusivity in storytelling. The director, Rob Marshall, and Disney made this casting decision to provide more representation for people of color and to reflect the diverse world we live in.
Some people welcomed the casting, praising it for breaking racial barriers and providing opportunities for underrepresented communities.
However, there were also critics who were disappointed and angry at the casting choice. Some argued that the character of Ariel should adhere to her traditional appearance as a white, red-haired character, based on the original Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale. They believed that changing the race of a well-known character undermined the integrity of the original story and its cultural significance.
In response to the criticism, the creators and supporters of the film have emphasized the importance of giving new interpretations to beloved characters and stories. They argue that storytelling evolves over time, and adaptations should reflect the changing cultural landscape. They also stress that the essence of Ariel’s character, her curiosity, spirit, and love for adventure, remains intact regardless of her race.
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Photo above is from YouTube screen grab