'Little Mermaid' debut makes box office waves - RTHK
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'Little Mermaid' debut makes box office waves

2023-05-29 HKT 13:42
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  • Actress Halle Bailey arrives for the premiere of The Little Mermaid, in London. Photo: AP
    Actress Halle Bailey arrives for the premiere of The Little Mermaid, in London. Photo: AP
Disney's live-action version of "The Little Mermaid" netted the top spot at North American box offices on its opening weekend, over the United States' Memorial Day holiday, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported on Sunday.

The remake of the 1989 animated tale of an underwater princess who gives up her voice in pursuit of true love on land, starring pop singer Halle Bailey and Melissa McCarthy, raked in US$117.5 million in US and Canadian box offices and another US$68 million internationally, Exhibitor Relations said.

Despite the number one spot, analyst David A Gross pointed out that the aquatic adventure's debut does not represent the biggest opening weekend for a live-action Disney adaptation.

He recalled that 2019's "The Lion King" and 2017's "Beauty and the Beast" earned US$191.8 million and US$174.8 million respectively, over their opening weekends.

"During the last dozen years, Disney has built live-action remakes into a powerhouse phenomenon," Gross wrote in the FranchiseRe newsletter.

Still, Ariel and friends were able to bump last week's number one feature "Fast-X" down to a distant number two, with Universal's action film pulling in only US$29.5 million in the Friday to Monday period.

That is less than half of what the movie, part of the "Fast & Furious" franchise starring Vin Diesel, made during its opening weekend last week.

Disney's "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" and Universal's "The Super Mario Bros Movie" were also knocked down one spot each from last weekend to take third and fourth places, making US$25.3 million and US$7.7 million.

In fifth place was Sony's new action comedy "The Machine," which earned US$5.8 million and is based on US comedian Bert Kreischer's stand-up routine. (AFP)