This Memorial Day weekend is shaping up to be a big one for Disney’s The Little Mermaid, which is usually one of the most profitable on the box office calendar.

While early analytics indicated a robust $100 million-plus four-day domestic start, pre-release social trends and ticket sales have continued to gather traction. Independent forecasts now predict a four-day bow in excess of $135 million.

Pinpoint forecasts (seen below) are even more optimistic.

It is worth noting that overall market business this weekend could surpass last year’s $174.4 million three-day haul from the top ten films over the same holiday period, which surpassed the pre-pandemic benchmark of $173.1 million three-day Memorial frame in 2019.

The pent-up need for a female-driven tentpole with generational appeal, paired with largely excellent reviews (a current 73 percent fresh score from 123 Rotten Tomatoes critics), is fueling excitement.

Related: Melissa McCarthy “Begged” To Play Ursula In “The Little Mermaid”

Pre-sales have progressively increased in recent weeks, with Wednesday’s early access shows, together with typical Thursday previews, expected to gross more than $11 million, and maybe more than $13 million. For comparison, the 2019 Aladdin remake earned $7 million from Thursday previews, though the market has undoubtedly changed in the last four years. Mermaid will be inherently more frontloaded.

Top Gun: Maverick set a new Memorial Day weekend record last year with a $126.7 million three-day / $160.5 million four-day split, surpassing Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End’s 15-year-old records of $114.7 million / $139.8 million. Now, one year later, Disney has an opportunity to outperform itself, with Mermaid vying for the second best Memorial opening ever, trailing only the Pirates threequel.

All of this being said, weekend play will be essential to reaching potential. It will be fascinating to watch how the demographics split out for this film, which is disproportionately skewed toward women. Aladdin’s opening weekend female audience was 54%, compared to 53% for The Lion King the same summer and 60% for Beauty and the Beast in 2017.

The original Little Mermaid picture was never the box office juggernaut that later Disney animated flicks were in the 1990s, but this modern remake is on track to join some of the studio’s most successful live-action re-imaginings.

Fast X will witness a significant decline in holdovers due to natural franchise front-loading and the simultaneous loss of numerous premium screens to Mermaid.

The previous film, F9, dropped more than 67 percent in its second weekend back in summer 2021, when theatrical recovery was just getting started post-pandemic. That picture did not have much competition at the time, but Fast X can still be considered a male-driven tentpole.

Meanwhile, despite Mermaid’s premiere, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and The Super Mario Bros. Movie should profit from the long holiday weekend and family attendance.

Several additional films will be released in theaters this weekend, with largely mixed reviews. Though Sony’s The Machine will feature special live screenings to help eventize the Bert Kreischer film, Lionsgate’s About My Father is likely to be the standout as a comedy counter-programmer with moderate family potential.

related: Halle Bailey Was ‘Stunned’ When She Was Approached To Audition For Ariel In The Little Mermaid

Open Road will also release the Gerard Butler-led Kandahar, while A24 will release You Hurt My Feelings in limited distribution at an unspecified number of theaters. We are presently not providing forecasts for the latter.

Weekend Box Office Prediction: Disney’s The Little Mermaid Eyes a $135-140M+ Memorial Day Opening


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