Disney’s The Little Mermaid remake, directed by Rob Marshall, topped the domestic box office over its first weekend in theaters but struggled internationally.
At home, the film had a huge three-day opening of $95.4 million, playing in 4,320 theaters. Its four-day opening is estimated to be around $117.5 million after adding the Memorial Day holiday.
If those estimates hold, The Little Mermaid will have had the fifth-biggest Memorial Day weekend opening in history. The film’s first three days in U.S. cinemas rank fifth all-time among Disney remakes behind The Jungle Book ($103.3 million), Alice in Wonderland ($116.1 million), Beauty and the Beast ($174.8 million), and The Lion King ($191.8 million).
Despite the film’s impressive domestic opening, The Little Mermaid only managed to pull in an estimated $68.3 million from the rest of the world combined. Most notably, the film’s Chinese release has been a disaster. Through Sunday, the film had only grossed $2.5 million, with local sources predicting it will finish its Chinese run at around $4 million in ticket sales.
Globally, The Little Mermaid grossed $163.8 million over its first three days and topped the worldwide box office. That’s middle of the road for a Disney remake though, ranking behind The Lion King ($433 million), Beauty and the Beast ($350 million), Alice in Wonderland ($210.3 million), The Jungle Book ($240 million), and Aladdin ($207 million).
There are undoubtedly several reasons why the film struggled abroad, but review aggregator sites in several of the world’s largest theatrical markets have indicated that they suspect internet trolls are review-bombing the film. IMDB posted a disclaimer of its own on the film’s review page, which reads:
Unusual activity: Our rating mechanism has detected unusual voting activity on this title. To preserve the reliability of our rating system, an alternate weighting calculation has been applied.
In other news, Illumination’s The Super Mario Bros. movie keeps rolling along and now sits at $1.278 billion. This week, it will pass Frozen ($1.281 billion) to become the third-highest-grossing animated film of all time behind Frozen II ($1.45 billion) and The Lion King ($1.66 billion).
Box office figures are estimates, and come from Box Office Mojo and Comscore.