EXCLUSIVE, late Thursday PM: Sources are telling us that Disney’s Rob Marshall directed The Little Mermaid is singing some high notes tonight of $10M+ in previews. Should that figure exceed $10.8M it will rep the 6th highest preview performance among PG and G rated titles in motion picture history. Tracking pegged the Halle Bailey movie at a $120M 4-day start over Memorial Day.
Remember, that preview cash is made up of Wednesday 6PM fan screenings at 500 premium screen theaters and early shows which began at 3PM today.
Even more impressive, Little Mermaid‘s preview figure bests that of Disney’s live action take of animated toon, Aladdin, from Memorial Day weekend 2019; that Will Smith pic doing $7M before grossing $31.3M on its first Friday for a $116.8M 4-day. Little Mermaid also easily beats the $2.3M previews (8PM start) of 2015’s Cinderella, which had a $23M first day, $67.8M start. However, Little Mermaid is swimming slower than Disney’s live action Beauty and the Beast from 2017 which did $16.3M, for a $63.7M Friday and $174.7M opening.
Female skewing movies, like Twilight for instance, often get a bad rep for being front-loaded. However, once a mass-appealing Disney princess movie fires up from its opening, it doesn’t let go. Beauty and the Beast only eased around -2% between its Thursday previews/Friday and Saturday business. Frozen 2 was +19% over a similar period while Aladdin, which starred Princess Jasmine, only eased -4% between its Thursday night/Friday and Saturday.
Though critics on Little Mermaid waned to 68% fresh, audiences on Rotten Tomatoes are very happy at 95%
We’re just getting started here.