‘The Little Mermaid’ Is a Big Hit on VOD

‘The Little Mermaid’ Is a Big Hit on VOD

Unlike their just opened “Haunted Mansion” ($33 million worldwide opening gross for a $150 million budget film before marketing” and “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” ($356 million gross, $295 million plus marketing), Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” might ultimately break even. If it does, its performance on PVOD could be make or break.

Of note, suggesting Disney’s much-revised strategy, this release came after nine weekends in theaters (60 days) and ahead of future Disney+ streaming.

With a reported production cost of $250 million and the usual added expense, its ultimate worldwide gross of $600 million, though otherwise impressive, means post-theatrical revenues need to be substantial. Opening #1 on all charts its initial week is a good first step.

What it will need is multiple weeks of strong play beyond a default first week #1. Last week “The Flash” (Warner Bros.), a far smaller performer in theaters, did debut at the top. But this week it’s only #2 on one chart (Vudu), while third and fourth elsewhere. The bounty for PVOD comes from long term, and high end charts (with the usual caveat that the revenues earned remain a mystery).

The VOD top tens otherwise changed little near the top, with five films along with “Mermaid” and “The Flash” on all three. Among $19.99 price films, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” (Disney), “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” (Paramount), and “Ruby Gillman Teenage Kraken” (Universal) repeated across the board, with $5.99 rentals “John Wick: Chapter Four (Lionsgate) and “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” (Universal), titles that have run longer, also placing.

“Joy Ride”©Lions Gate/Courtesy Everett Collection

Two other new entries, both on Vudu, one each on iTunes and Google Play, debuted. “Joy Ride” (Lionsgate), the well-reviewed Asian-American friendship comedy that only managed $13 million despite a wide release, came out after only three weekends. It paid off with placing as high as #6 on Vudu. For a lower-budgeted title like this, any sustained showing could be lucrative.

“Resident Evil: Death Island” (Sony), a Japanese animated film related to the original video game rather than the movie franchise, also placed on two lists at a low $5.99 initial rental cost.

Netflix again has an above average number of non-studio released older films on its top 10. “Hidden Strike,” no an original production but not released theatrically domestically and handled by Netflix in most of the world, is #1. The Chinese-produced Jackie Chan-John Cena Middle East-set actioner was actually made in 2018, with Cena replacing the planned Sylvester Stallone. That’s tailor-made for instant success on the streamer.

Ellie Kemper and Luke Grimes in "Happiness for Beginners"
“Happiness for Beginners”Courtesy Netflix

It gets even more eclectic. The rest of the top six — the romance “Happiness for Beginners,” French animated “Miraculous: Ladybug and Cat Noir, The Movie” (with a reported $90 million budget), last week’s #1 “They Cloned Tyrone,” Japanese documentary “Missing: The Lucie Blackman Case,” and German sci-fi thriller “Paradise” — are originals, with the kind of eclectic range, whatever their quality, that’s far greater than what is offered in theaters.

iTunes and Google Play rank films daily by number of transactions. These are the listings for Monday, July 31. Distributors listed are current rights owners. Prices for all titles are for rental.


1. The Little Mermaid (Disney)- $19.99

2. The Super Mario Bros. Movie (Universal) – $5.99

3. The Flash (WB) – $19.99

4. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (Disney) – $19.99

5. Joyride (Lionsgate) – $19.99

6. John Wick: Chapter 4 (Lionsgate) – $5.99

7. Transformers: Rise of the Beasts (Paramount) – $19.99

8. Sisu (Lionsgate) – $5.99

9. Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken (Universal) – $19.99

10. The Covenant (MGM) – $5.99

Google Play

1. The Little Mermaid (Disney) – $19.99

2. The Super Mario Bros. Movie (Universal) – $5.99

3. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (Disney) – $19.99

4. The Flash (WB) – $19.99

5. Transformers: Rise of the Beasts (Paramount) – $19.99

6. John Wick: Chapter 4 (Lionsgate) – $5.99

7. Resident Evil: Death Island (Sony) – $5.99

8. Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken (Universal) – $19.99

9. Fast X (Universal) – $19.99

10. Sisu (Lionsgate) – $5.99


Vudu ranks by revenue, not transactions, elevating premium VOD titles. This list covers July 24-30.

1. The Little Mermaid (Disney) – $19.99

2. The Flash (WB) – $19.99

3. Transformers: Rise of the Beasts (Paramount) – $19.99

4. Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken (Universal) – $19.99

5. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (Disney) – $19.99

6. Joy Ride (Lionsgate) – $19.99

7. The Super Mario Bros. Movie (Universal) – $5.99

8. Fast X (Universal) – $19.99

9. Resident Evil: Death Island (Sony) – $5.99

10. John Wick: Chapter 4 (Lionsgate) – $5.99

Netflix Movies

Most viewed, current ranking on Netflix’s daily chart on Monday, July 31. Originals include both Netflix-produced and acquired titles it initially presents in the U.S. Netflix publishes its own weekly top 10 on Tuesdays based on time viewed

1. Hidden Strike (2023 Netflix original)

2. Happiness for Beginners (Netflix original)

3. Miraculous: Ladybug and Cat Noir, The Movie (Netflix French animated original)

4. They Cloned Tyrone (Netflix original)

5. Missing: The Lucie Blackman Case (Netflix Japanese original documentary)

6. Paradise (Netflix German original)

7. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (2022 theatrical release)

8. The Out-Laws (Netflix original)

9. Ride Along (2014 theatrical release)

10. Unknown: Cosmic Time Machine (Netflix original documentary)