LOS ANGELES (AFP): Disney’s live-action version of “The Little Mermaid” netted the top spot at North American box offices on its opening weekend, over the United States’ Memorial Day holiday, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported Sunday.
The remake of the 1989 animated tale of an underwater princess who gives up her voice in pursuit of true love on land, starring pop singer Halle Bailey and Melissa McCarthy, raked in $117.5 million in US and Canadian box offices and another $68 million internationally, Exhibitor Relations said.
Despite the number one spot, analyst David A. Gross pointed out that the aquatic adventure’s debut does not represent the biggest opening weekend for a live-action Disney adaptation.
He recalled that 2019’s “The Lion King” and 2017’s “Beauty and the Beast” earned $191.8 million and $174.8 million respectively, over their opening weekends.
“During the last dozen years, Disney has built live-action remakes into a powerhouse phenomenon,” Gross wrote in the FranchiseRe newsletter.
Still, Ariel and friends were able to bump last week’s number one feature “Fast-X” down to a distant number two, with Universal’s action film pulling in only $29.5 million in the Friday to Monday period.
That’s less than half of what the movie, part of the “Fast & Furious” franchise starring Vin Diesel, made during its opening weekend last week.
Disney’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” and Universal’s “The Super Mario Bros Movie” were also knocked down one spot each from last weekend to take third and fourth places, making $25.3 million and $7.7 million.
In fifth place was Sony’s new action comedy “The Machine,” which earned $5.8 million and is based on US comedian Bert Kreischer’s stand-up routine.
Rounding out the top 10 were:
“About My Father” ($5.3 million)
“Kandahar” ($3 million)
“You Hurt My Feelings” ($1.8 million)
“Evil Dead Rise” ($1.2 million)
“Book Club: The Next Chapter” ($1.2 million)