clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Little Mermaid’s box office opening was impressive, but still couldn’t top Lion King

Disney’s new remake isn’t even the biggest movie of the year so far

Javier Bardem as King Triton, looking sternly at Ariel Image: Disney
Austen Goslin (he/him) is an entertainment editor. He writes about the latest TV shows and movies, and particularly loves all things horror.

Disney’s latest live-action remake has arrived and it’s already diving into the summer blockbuster ocean with some pretty great results. The Little Mermaid debuted to $117 million at the domestic box office, with $185 million total internationally, making it one of the biggest releases of the year so far.

While Disney’s new Little Mermaid is undoubtedly making a splash, it’s still a far cry from the studio’s biggest live-action remake debut. In 2019, Disney’s live-action The Lion King opened at over $191 million. Meanwhile, Beauty and the Beast had a similarly huge opening with $174 million domestically back in 2016. Critically though, these massive debuts were also from before the pandemic, and the entire box office hasn’t quite recovered to those levels, not just Disney and its formerly animated fare.

As for the rest of the box office this year, The Little Mermaid’s performance is fairly impressive, though still far from the top. The top spot of the year still belongs to The Super Mario Bros. Movie, with second place belonging to Fast X. The Little Mermaid, however, is much further down the list behind other 2023 releases like Creed 3 and John Wick 4.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Patch Notes

A weekly roundup of the best things from Polygon