‘The Little Mermaid’ Expected to Be Disney’s Biggest Fail This Year

in Disney, Movies

After pushing through controversy and backlash, 'The Little Mermaid' is still expected to be Disney's biggest fail in 2023; Ariel looking at 'The Little Mermaid' (2023) Poster

Credit: Inside the Magic

After pushing through controversy and backlash, The Little Mermaid is still expected to be Disney’s biggest fail in 2023.

Disney’s live-action remake of the beloved animated classic The Little Mermaid is perhaps one of the most discussed and divisive Disney movies to be released in the last years, facing backlash, controversy, and tasteless comments criticizing the film’s casting of Halle Bailey in the role of Ariel and other changes made to the story. And while the young actress has braved these comments mostly unbothered, it appears that The Little Mermaid is headed toward an underwhelming box-office performance.

halle bailey and jonah hauer-king as ariel and eric in the little mermaid
Credit: Walt Disney Studios

Related: Halle Bailey Doesn’t Want “Unprepared Interviews” After Disgusting International Experience

While Disney’s The Little Mermaid is expected to have one of the strongest opening weekends The Walt Disney Company has seen this year in America, the film’s international box-office performance may be less-than-ideal, particularly in China, which has a history of banning Disney movies due to a repressive control of media portraying members of the LGBTQIA+ community and other minorities, even causing shameful modifications to The Little Mermaid media.

melissa mccarthy as ursula in ‘the little mermaid’
Credit: Walt Disney Studios

Related: Awkwafina Slammed for ‘Little Mermaid’ Involvement

Box office aficionado Luiz Fernando (@Luiz_Fernando_J) backed these predictions, commenting that ticket pre-sales for The Little Mermaid showed no significant signs of interest from Chinese audiences, as the movie barely reached $13,000 after three days of pre-sales, possibly making it Disney’s biggest box-office fail in China. You can read Fernando’s tweet by clicking here.

Meanwhile in #China’s #BoxOffice, ticket pre-sales for #TheLittleMermaid show no signs of reaction.
#Disney liveaction finished SUN with a scary $13k total after 3 days of pre-sales, for the whole MAY 25-28 period.
Could be the worst opening ever for Hollywood tentpole in China.

Ariel (R) and Eric (L) in Disney's 'The Little Mermaid' (2023)
Credit: Walt Disney Studios

Related: Disney Could Replace Its Highest-Paid Princess in New Fantasmic! Show – Inside the Magic

China’s nationwide ban on multiple Disney movies, including some of Marvel Studios’ latest releases, was recently lifted, allowing thousands of fans to finally enjoy these stories for the first time. However, it would appear that the stigma continues with the underwhelming reception of Disney’s latest live-action remake. Only time will tell if The Little Mermaid will recover from this severe blow in China, boosting the film’s global earnings.

More on The Little Mermaid

Directed by Rob Marshall, The Little Mermaid swims to a theater near you on May 26, 2023. “The youngest of King Triton’s daughters, and the most defiant, Ariel longs to find out more about the world beyond the sea, and while visiting the surface, falls for the dashing Prince Eric,” reads the official Disney film description.

Halle Bailey executing the iconic Little Mermaid hair flip
Credit: Walt Disney Studios

The upcoming movie has triggered a series of viral videos of young Black girls tearing up in excitement about seeing themselves on screen, encouraging Bailey and empowering the actress.

Halle Bailey at Disneyland bibbidi bobbidi boutique
Credit: Disney

Disney Parks are also gearing up to celebrate the premiere of The Little Mermaid, welcoming Halle Bailey’s version of the character at Disneyland Park, Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World Resort, and Disneyland Paris.

Will you watch The Little Mermaid in theaters when the movie premieres on May 26? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments below!

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