Disney’s newest live-action take on one of their classic films hit the box office and promptly splashed flat on its face. At least, that’s what the internet would have you believe. Disney’s The Little Mermaid made its debut in May and since has swum its way to mixed reviews, as well as differing opinions deciding its financial desirability at theatres. In terms of enjoyability, the film is currently sitting at 68% on Rotten Tomatoes. However, the audience score is a strong 94%. For comparison purposes, 2019’s Aladdin sits on a steady course with Halle Bailey’s version of Ariel with a viewer score of 94%, while 2019’s The Lion King sinks a little coming in at 88%.
This tells us one thing. Disney fans enjoy Disney movies. To get a better understanding of what success may look like in the long run for the newest remake. We have to consider the financial outlook. Fans have taken to Twitter just to do just that. According to FandomWire and Variety, there are some who think that Ariel and friends will easily see the 500 million mark.
“500 million by this time next week I know it and then 750 million is next and then a billion”
— abbie (@finaIghost) June 11, 2023
“THE ROAD TO $500M BEGINS NOW”
— anna | tlm brainrot 🧜🏽♀️ (@misc_convos) June 11, 2023
Assuming audience scores hold some correlation with revenue, we can deduce that The Little Mermaid may actually make it. The Lion King made a reported 1.6 billion dollars globally. That’s an insane amount of cash. Aladdin enjoyed its own success clearing just over 1 billion. As of June, The Little Mermaid has brought in an estimated 414 million dollars (most of which has come from the domestic box office). This may not seem impressive compared to early release numbers of other Disney live-action remakes, but considering that their newest film doesn’t possess the same firepower as past projects, it isn’t too terrible. There are no names like Will Smith and Beyonce associated with this newest film, but Disney has done a fantastic job of marketing, to include a new meet and greet at Walt Disney World.
The biggest problem that we can infer from the current numbers associated with The Little Mermaid’s performce is cost. The production cost around 250 million to produce. Returns don’t look so hot under that consideration. But compared to recent Disney owned products that have released, the new film may be on a better track. Marvel’s Ant-man and the Wasp: Quantumania topped out at around 470 million dollars. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has made just under 660 million globally, while Lightyear failed miserably bringing in 226 million worldwide.
Disney’s newest mermaid is on pace to meet these gains, maybe even surpass them. In a time and place where representation is a focal point of culture, we can expect that more and more people will see the film, especially once it releases in other mediums, and with a solid fan approval, and strong Twitter backing, why wouldn’t it?