• Box Office

World Box Office May 22 to 28, 2023

A mermaid splashed to the top and drowned out action stars and superheroes. The Little Mermaid, Rob Marshall’s live-action remake of the 1989 animation blockbuster, starring Halle Bailey in the title role, opened with $104 million in the three-day weekend frame.

But analysts estimate that on a four-day run, including Monday’s Memorial Day, the family fantasy adventure, costarring Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric and Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, would hit the $121 million – $123 million range.

In this report, the figures cited are the three-day weekend estimates.

As a result of Ariel swimming her way to a number one debut, Fast X – with its action stars led by Vin Diesel and muscle cars – dropped to the second spot. The latest installment of the Fast and Furious franchise revved up the box office with $23 million.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, picking up $20.6 million on its fourth weekend, settled for third place. After four weekends, the final movie of the Guardians of the Galaxy series has netted $306 million.

On its eighth frame, The Super Mario Bros. Movie drew $6.27 million to secure the fourth berth. The hugely successful film adaptation of the Nintendo video game has grossed a domestic cume of $560.8 million.

Mark Hamill is back in the box office top five with The Machine, his action comedy with Bert Kreischer and Jimmy Tatro. Directed by Peter Atencio, the movie scored $5.2 million. Filmed in Serbia, The Machine was based on Kreischer’s true story stand-up routine.

Rounding out the rest of the top ten were, in order: About My Father, a comedy starring Robert De Niro as an old-school Italian immigrant father, Sebastian Maniscalco and Leslie Bibb, and directed by Laura Terruso, $4.1 million; Kandahar, Gerard Butler’s action thriller about a CIA operative stuck in hostile territory in Afghanistan, which opened with $2.5 million.

Still in the top ten: Nicole Holofcener’s You Hurt My Feelings, a comedy featuring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Amber Tamblyn and Tobias Menzies, which premiered with $1.389 million; Mirabai Pease’s Evil Dead Ride, still going strong with $1.05 million; and Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen’s Book Club: The Next Chapter, $910,000.

Overseas, The Little Mermaid, also starring Javier Bardem (King Triton), Awkwafina (Scuttle), Daveed Diggs (Sebastian) and Jacob Tremblay (Flounder), grabbed $68.3 million for a worldwide bow of $163.8 million.

The animated film with new songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda went swimmingly well in these territories: Mexico, Brazil, Australia, the United Kingdom, Italy, Australia, France, Spain, South Korea and Argentina.

But the film did not fare as well in China. The Little Mermaid only drew $2.5 million in the world’s second biggest movie market. Analysts reported that those numbers are way below, compared to the China bows of these films – The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, The Jungle Book and Aladdin.

Meanwhile, Fast X and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 hit global record benchmarks – $500 million and $730 million, respectively.

Overall, the Fast and Furious franchise reached the $7 billion worldwide milestone.