Will Memorial Day Weekend Be A Box Office Banger For ‘Little Mermaid’ And Halle Bailey?

The Little Mermaid is expected to gross $110 million over the Memorial Day weekend, according to Deadline. The highly anticipated live-action film stars the multitalented Halle Bailey as Ariel along with a star-studded cast.

Earnings from the upcoming holiday could potentially place the maritime fairytale alongside other high-grossing films like Top Gun: Maverick, which raked in $160.5 million during it the four-day release, Deadline reported. A windfall of this amount would place Little Mermaid on the list with top-ranking Disney films such as Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End and Lion King.

The adaptation of the 1989 animated classic will feature some changes. In addition to three new songs, the lyrics of two songs from the original were changed to be “less offensive” for a modern-day audience. 

The film’s director, Rob Marshall spoke to The Direct about the lyrical changes to Little Mermaid songs:

“We asked Lin-Manuel (Miranda) to make some slight adjustments to the original lyrics for “Kiss the Girl,” because it’s important to remember that the culture and sensitivities have changed over the last 34 years, and it’s vital that we are respectful to those changes,” Marshall said in a press release. 

The decision to cast Bailey, who is Black, in the title role was met with controversy when it was announced. Internet bullies created the hashtag #notmyariel and demanded the actress be recast. While she admitted that she was hurt by the backlash, the songstress was not deterred. She credits her grandparents for keeping her grounded during that difficult time.

“It was an inspiring and beautiful thing to hear their words of encouragement, telling me, ‘You don’t understand what this is doing for us, for our community, for all the little Black and brown girls who are going to see themselves in you,” the 23-year-old told Variety.

Bailey’s participation as a young Black woman with luscious locs may have been the catalyst for a co-branding opportunity. Disney has collaborated with the haircare brand Carol’s Daughter to curate a line of Little Mermaid products. The limited-edition line features shampoos and conditioners designed to care for Black hair.

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