It looks like The Little Mermaid is going to continue the box office performance of Disney’s live-action adaptations of their beloved animated classics. While the internet continues to groan about the existence of taking an iconic animated fair and trying to put a realistic lens over it (as much as possible, poor Flounder), it does seem like audiences are continuing to eat it up as much as they can. The film pulled in a mighty $30M on Saturday after a $38M on Friday (including previews), which is on par with the Aladdin adaptation and is on its path to a strong Memorial Day weekend.
As of now, it seems that the film will pull in around $97M+ in three days and wrap up the four-day weekend at $121M+. It seems the film boasted an 80M-worth global promo partnership that makes it one of the biggest for a non-Lucasfilm or Marvel Cinematic Universe cooperation. After being quite absent throughout the early parts of the year, it seems families are finally going back to theaters. That A CinemaScore is definitely also doing its job for strong word-of-mouth.
Fast X is losing quite a bit of speed, as it is dropping around 67% in its second 3-day weekend which would rival any of the previous Marvel entries from the previous years. That on a soft $67.5M hurts far more than any of the frontloaded Marvel movies and perhaps continues to showcase that the current superhero fatigue is likely more than meets the eye given Transformers‘ latest entry isn’t coming in as hot as one would hope for such a mega tentpole franchise.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is still hanging in there with a strong 26.6M over the four-day weekend. That’s just a 36% drop and further highlights that it’s all about keeping fans coming back to theaters. While some will call this an exception to the rule, the film still opened softer and positive word-of-mouth will keep the genre kicking. If The Flash manages to pull in a strong audience, it’ll also carry over into November’s release of The Marvels and so forth.
Overall though, counterprogramming for this week isn’t doing what it should do as Machine and About My Father are falling a bit short. They both highlight the issue that grew out of the pandemic’s streaming focus that hit big films as well with mixed word-of-mouth scores: there’s a strong distinction between “what I’ll watch in theaters” and “I’ll wait to check it out on streaming eventually” mentalities than ever before. Big thank you to Disney+’s 45-day release window and Warner Bros.’ day-and-date strategy for that.