Box Office: 'The Little Mermaid' Earns $10.3 Million in Previews

Box Office: ‘The Little Mermaid’ Earns $10.3 Million in Previews

The little Mermaid grossed $10.3 million in previews at the North American box office at the start of the Memorial Day long weekend.

It’s one of the best screenings ever for showings before the holiday weekend. Disney’s live action Aladdin holds the record with $10.8 million in previews. MermaidThe tally includes $850,000 in takings from Wednesday’s special screenings; the rest comes from traditional Thursday night showings.

Overall, Mermaid it ranks seventh on the list of top premiere grossers for G- or PG-rated pictures.

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Rob Marshall directs the live-action remake of Disney’s beloved animated film. The new Mermaid stars Halle Bailey as Ariel, the spirited young mermaid who makes a dangerous deal with wicked sea witch Ursula (Melissa McCarthy) to experience life on dry land and meet the handsome Prince Eric (Jonah Hauer-King). The deal, however, poses a great risk to her father’s watery kingdom.

The cast also includes Daveed Diggs, Awkwafina, Javier Bardem, Jacob Tremblay, Noma Dumezweni and Art Malik.

Bailey’s performance as Ariel received critical praise amid a racist backlash from social media commentators protesting the casting of a black actress in the lead role. Disney insiders don’t expect these protests to hurt the film in North America, but they are waiting to see how the film plays in some overseas markets.

The little Mermaid he’s making up to $120 million for the four-day vacation. That would mark the fifth-biggest domestic start for Memorial Day weekend, a ranking currently occupied by Disney’s live-action Aladdinwhich opened to $116.8 million over the four-day holiday.

The film’s four days are expected to include a three-day gross of $100 million. Pre-sales are going on Aladdinbut behind other live-action remakes The beauty and the Beast AND The Lion King.

Overseas, the film is slated for an $80 million release through Sunday.

Interest is driven by girls, moms and other women, similar to The beauty and the Beastwhose audience was 70% female.

The film features a score by multiple Academy Award winner Alan Menken, as well as new songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Legendary’s action comedy The car and Robert De Niro’s comedy About my father also opened domestically, but are not expected to gross more than $5 million or $6 million in their domestic debuts.

The car, from Screen Gems, stars Bert Kreischer and is inspired by the comedian’s stand-up comedian of the same name. Mark Hamill co-stars.