Turns out nobody needed a live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid,” which sunk in comparison to Marvel’s “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” when it came to the weekend box office.
According to Deadline, The Little Mermaid raked in $40.6 million between over the three-day Memorial-day weekend, a 57% decline from its May 26th opening weekend, bringing the movie to a total gross of $186.2 million in the two weeks it’s been out.
Spider Man, meanwhile, earned $120.5 million over Memorial Day weekend, the best start for a summer blockbuster year-to-date, with opening day raking in $51.7 million – the best single-day gross to date for a movie this year.
Back at Disney, The Little Mermaid’s overseas numbers may do even worse – with the film expected to gross around $300 million in the US and Canada vs. $260 million abroad.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the movie has already tanked in China and South Korea – grossing just $3.6 million in 10 days in China, and $4.4 million in South Korea.
The movie cost a reported $250 million to produce, and has a $140 million global marketing campaign – making it likely that The Little Mermaid will only break even, or even take a loss of close to $20 million.
Controversy has surrounded Disney’s The Little Mermaid for the last couple of years as some have criticized the live adaptation’s “woke” story changes. Those criticisms have included alterations to the lyrics from classic songs (specifically actress Awkwafina’s rap song The Scuttlebutt) to the racial recasting of what was the original fair-skinned character of Ariel from the original Danish story. Directed by Rob Marshall (Chicago, Mary Poppins Returns) this Disney interpretation stars Halle Bailey as Ariel, Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, and Jonah Hauer-King as Price Eric.
Strong reactions to the movie have even led the film/television online database IMDb (Internet Movie Database) to step in and post the following warning label: “Our rating mechanism has detected unusual voting activity on this title. To preserve the reliability of our rating system, an alternate weighting calculation has been applied.” -The Epoch Times
That said, while many expected The Little Mermaid to be extremely woke, it turns out not to be the case.
“The run-up to the film’s release suggested another Disney woke-a-thon, but the film doesn’t live down to that description,” said right-leaning critic Christian Toto in a statement to the Washington Times. “Yes, the film tweaked a song or two, but the story never stops to lecture us about the patriarchy or other modern ills. There’s a brief suggestion of environmentalism, but it’s woven gently into the story’s fabric.”
“This live-action yarn isn’t perfect, but it doesn’t stop cold to lecture us or push the kind of strained, girl-power shtick that immediately wears thin,” he continued in his review.
More via The Epoch Times;
Controversies have plagued The Walt Disney Company and its brand for the last couple years, with many lifelong Disney fans exclaiming their dislike of the company’s burgeoning “wokeness.” As a longtime family-friendly brand, critics have accused the company of being too inclusive and including adult-themed sexualization and homosexuality in their films. This, they say, devalues the Disney brand. A specific example of a “woke” move in its movies includes the company’s decision to incorporate a same-sex kiss in Pixar’s latest Toy Story installation.
Political infractions have also swirled around Disney in recent years. In 2022, following the passage of Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill, Disney’s now-ousted CEO Bob Chapek stepped back from his stance to not give in to woke demands after Disney employees demanded the company condemn the legislation. That was followed by a string of box office disappointments and the re-appointment of its former CEO Bob Iger. All this has led the watchdog organization the New Tolerance Campaign to include The Walt Disney Company in its 2022 ranking as the “Worst of the Woke” for the second year in a row, according to a report by Fox News.
Meanwhile, it’s clear that big studio franchise films can still thrive in an age of streamers and on-demand releases. For its part, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse put spider mania in full gear both domestically and internationally. Besides drawing huge crowds, it earned an A from market research firm CinemaScore and an 82 percent definite recommendation from polling service Comscore/Screen Engine PostTrak audiences.
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