Disney's latest live-action remake, The Little Mermaid, is set to hit theaters this week and is due to hit a major benchmark for these films that only four others have if it hits its projections.
Deadline reported that The Little Mermaid is currently eyeing a $100 million debut — $120 million over the four-day holiday weekend — which would make it only the fifth live-action remake to cross $100 million during its domestic opening weekend. It would join the company of The Lion King ($191 million); Beauty and the Beast ($174 million); Alice in Wonderland ($116 million); and The Jungle Book ($103 million). There's a bit of a disparity between The Jungle Book and the next film to open to $100 million, that being Guy Ritchie‘s Aladdin ($91 million).
Should The Little Mermaid hit its projected four-day holiday weekend total, that would make it the fifth-highest-opening in the United States/Canada over the Friday-Monday Memorial Day weekend.
The Little Mermaid marks the latest attempt by Disney to introduce one of their animated classics to a new audience. It largely remains faithful to the animated film — at least to this (very) casual fan of the original — and follows Ariel (Halle Bailey) as she makes a deal with Ursula (Melissa McCarthy) to become human for three days so that she can pursue a young prince named Eric (Jonah Huaer-King). However, if she fails to do so, she will remain human forever and be unable to rejoin her family under the sea.
Even if this cynical critic largely didn't enjoy the film, I'd never root against a film making money. Plus, it currently holds a 73% score from critics on Rotten Tomatoes based on 127 reviews, and I expect families to go in droves to see it given it's a holiday weekend.
The Little Mermaid will be released on May 26.