“The Little Mermaid” is projected to pull in around $120 million during its opening weekend despite mixed reviews of the live action Disney film.
The movie will also earn an estimated $80 million overseas between Friday and Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, per The Hollywood Reporter.
If the $120 million projection is accurate, that would mean “The Little Mermaid” would have the fifth biggest domestic start for Memorial Day weekend. That title currently belongs to Disney’s live-action version of “Aladdin,” which earned $116.8 million during the holiday weekend in 2019.
This updated version of the classic 1989 animated film stars Halle Bailey as Ariel, Melissa McCarthy as Ursula the sea witch, and Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric. Daveed Diggs voices Sebastian, Jacob Tremblay appears as Flounder, and Javier Bardem plays King Triton.
Like so many live-action remakes from Disney, “The Little Mermaid” follows basically the same storyline as the original film with a few updates, which is one of the primary reasons it’s being criticized.
The NPR reviewer echoed what others were saying by calling it “an artistic dead end” that “may make commercial sense” but is ultimately “unnecessary.”
“Like a lot of its fellow Disney remakes, this Little Mermaid too often feels like a dutiful cover version rather than an inspired reimagining,” the review says. While Bailey’s performance is hailed as one of the best parts of the movie, the reviewer describes her beloved sidekick friends Flounder and Sebastian as “creepy and dead-eyed” in the new version.
“There is nothing innovative or reformist about what happens in this movie,” Huffington Post wrote about the remake.
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“While the original ‘The Little Mermaid’ dazzled with its beautifully imaginative underwater kingdom and talking sea creatures, Rob Marshall’s remake is a soulless cash grab utterly devoid of any hint of charm of visual whimsy,” another reviewer wrote.
There were other moviegoers who disagreed with the criticism, however, saying the new “Little Mermaid” is worth seeing.
“For the most part, I had a good time at ‘The Little Mermaid.’ The film is buoyed by its actors and some of its visuals,” the reviewer at Boston Globe wrote. Another reviewer insisted it was, “an entertaining adaptation that deserves to make a big splash at the box office.”
“The Little Mermaid” premiered nationwide on May 26.
(Disclosure: The Daily Wire has announced plans for kids entertainment content.)