Disney’s live-action adaptation of the beloved tale of The Little Mermaid has finally surpassed the total gross of the original animated movie. Despite the underwhelming premiere, the Halle Bailey-led film achieved a milestone in its first week.
The original animated film was released in 1989 starring Jodi Benson as the voice of Ariel. Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale, The Little Mermaid revived the popularity of Disney animation.
Halle Bailey’s The Little Mermaid Officially Beats Original Animated Movie
In a report from Collider, 2023’s The Little Mermaid has grossed over $250 million, surpassing the original film’s worldwide profit of $211 million. Most of the latest adaptation’s earnings came from its domestic opening, as the international box office saw a modest start.
Most of Disney’s live-action movies performed excellently in foreign markets than in the United States, a telltale sign for the marketing team behind The Little Mermaid to push for more marketing tactics.
Directed by Rob Marshall, The Little Mermaid follows Disney’s roster of movie adaptations such as The Lion King, Aladdin, and Beauty and the Beast. While only a few emerged as successful at the box office, with The Lion King earning a staggering $1 billion, many turned out to be disastrous, while some remained confined within streaming platforms.
The Little Mermaid now relies on its enduring popularity, and with a massive production budget of $250 million, the studio seems to have high expectations for the film. Aside from newcomer Halle Bailey, it also stars Melissa McCarthy, Daveed Diggs, Jonah Hauer-King, Awkwafina, Javier Bardem, Noma Dumezweni, Jacob Tremblay, and Art Malik, to name a few.
Fans are also celebrating the movie’s small wins. Check out their reactions on Twitter below:
With the movie’s current total breaking even the cost of production, The Little Mermaid is expected to churn more money in the coming weeks that would determine its overall fate.
Halle Bailey Reflects On Her Role As A Black Mermaid
Disney’s announcement of The Little Mermaid’s screen adaption with Halle Bailey in the starring role produced a mixed bag of reactions from fans. The 23-year-old actress admitted she was aware of the backlash (via The Guardian):
“I mean, yeah. The world we live in today, just being a black woman, you have a certain awareness that comes with life, in general. So I wasn’t very surprised or shocked. I think it’s just the way that you respond and move, and know that inside you’re worthy, and you’re here for a reason.”
The low performance of the film in the international arena could be attributed to the early negative reception of fans toward the film, with people continuously down-voting the movie’s promotional materials. Bailey remarked how seeing a Black mermaid on screen would have changed her entire perspective in life:
“Because I feel like, if I would have had a black mermaid, that would have been insane, that would have changed my whole perspective, my whole life, my confidence, my self-worth. You’re able to see a person who looks like you, when you’re young? Some people are just like, oh, it’s whatever, because they’ve had it their whole life. It’s nothing to them.”
Despite the less-than-stellar premiere, it still has the charm to attract viewers from international regions with better marketing strategies. The Little Mermaid is now showing in theaters worldwide.