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“The Little Mermaid,” starring Halle Bailey, dominates at the box office on Memorial Day weekend

Disney’s live action “The Little Mermaid” raked in $95.5 million at the box office between May 26 and May 28. The film, staring Halle Bailey, far exceeded the competition on Memorial Day weekend. 

On its premiere day alone, “The Little Mermaid” earned $38 million. It debuted in 4,320 theaters across the U.S.

Its closest competitor was “Fast X” — the 10th installment in the “Fast & Furious” franchise — which opened on May 19 and earned $23 million between May 26-28.

Other high earners were “Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 3” and “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” both of which premiered weeks earlier.

Other new films that opened Memorial Day weekend — “The Machine,” “About My Father,” “Kandahar” and “You Hurt My Feelings” — opened in fewer theaters and made only a fraction of “The Little Mermaid’s” earnings.

If by the end of the four-day holiday weekend “The Little Mermaid” earns a total of $126.9 million, it would rank as the third-highest earner on Memorial Day weekend ever — following 2022’s “Top Gun: Maverick,” which earned $160 million, and 2007’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End,” which earned $139 million — according to Fandago’s Erik Davis.

The Disney remake of the 1989 animated movie was highly anticipated. When the first teaser of the film was released last year, videos of young girls reacting to it began going viral online. Many were overjoyed to see Bailey, who is Black, play a Disney princess and give representation to young Black girls.

“People have been sending these reactions to me all weekend and I’m truly in awe,” the 22-year-old actress tweeted at the time. “This means the world to me.”  

The trailer for the film was revealed during the Oscars in March.

The film, directed Rob Marshall, features music by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Alan Menken, who is behind the music of numerous other Disney films. Howard Ashman’s score for the original animated movie is also included, Marshall said in September at the D23 expo, a Disney fan convention, Variety reported.

The film also stars Javier Bardem as King Triton, Daveed Diggs as the voice of Sebastian, and Melissa McCarthy as Ursula. 

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