The Little Mermaid, Disney’s latest live-action remake, has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons. The movie, which stars Halle Bailey as Ariel, has been underperforming in China and South Korea due to a racist backlash against Bailey’s casting.
The movie has grossed a mere $4.4 million through June 4 in China and has made only $3.6 million in mainland China since opening there on May 26, according to Box Office Mojo.
Sources close to the movie, as well as box office analysts, say Disney knew Little Mermaid could face challenges, but is surprised by the extent of the backlash and its impact.
In the United States, The Little Mermaid has been doing good business despite protestations by some regarding Bailey’s casting. The movie has earned north of $186 million in its first 10 days and is pacing on par with breakout live-action hit Aladdin.
However, the movie’s lower overseas box office leaves breakeven in question.
The Little Mermaid has been declared “a massive flop for Disney” by box office analyst OMB Reviews following the film’s second weekend at the box office.
The movie has presently grossed approximately $326 million at the worldwide box office, which is a box office failure for Disney.
Despite the backlash, Disney’s decision to cast Halle Bailey as Ariel has been hailed by young Black girls in the United States, saying they feel represented on the big screen because of her titular role.
In conclusion, The Little Mermaid has been a box office flop in China and South Korea due to a racist backlash against Halle Bailey’s casting. However, the movie has been doing good business in the United States and other markets. Regardless of the reasons for the backlash and the film’s box office performance, the numbers don’t lie.
The Little Mermaid, which has presently grossed approximately $326 million at the worldwide box office, is a box office failure for Disney.