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'The Little Mermaid' tops Memorial Day weekend box office

Yahoo Finance Senior Reporter Alexandra Canal breaks down the Memorial Day weekend box office numbers, with Disney's Little Mermaid bringing in an estimated $117 million, as well as the summer box office season.

Video transcript


- Memorial Day weekend saw several large box office draws competing for first place. The likes, the like, the likes of Fast X and Guardians of the Galaxy Volume Three ultimately lost out, to Disney's live action remake of The Little Mermaid, which saw $117 million domestic opening. Here with us now is Yahoo Finance's Allie Canal to tell us more about it. Hey, Allie.

ALEXANDRA CANAL: Hi, Rachel. And that's right, the live action, Disney Little Mermaid, soaring to more than $117 million in that four-day opening weekend estimate, according to Disney. Now, that's just shy of the $120 million forecast, but still a very strong start to the summer box office season. And we could see that number tick higher to around $119 million. We'll have to see when the final results trickle in there.

But when we think about this movie, it's interesting because Disney poured a ton of money into the marketing for it. An $80 million marketing campaign that featured live performances, social media videos, viral TikTok trends. And I'm sure didn't hurt that the chatter online about this film, whether good or bad, probably convinced people who were on the fence to go out and see this movie.

Now, overall at the box office, year to date through Sunday, ticket sales have climbed to just over $3.3 billion. That's nearly 30% ahead of 2022 levels, according to Comscore. And the momentum, it's only going to pick up from here with major films like Mission Impossible, Indiana Jones, Oppenheimer, the new Barbie movie, all expected to make a giant splash similar to the Little Mermaid, no pun intended.

Of course, a big question for analysts is which film will be the film of the summer. Last year, that was clearly Top Gun Maverick. And this year when I asked analysts, they're not really able to give me a firm answer there, because there are just so many movies from the Giant Tentpoles, to some of those buzzing new, newcomers as well, that I think it's going to be a very competitive summer box office season.

- We're definitely much more spoiled for choice this year than we were last year. I still am going to see Little Mermaid, I'm getting around to that. But my other big favorite that I've been just excited about ever since I knew it was coming, was the Barbie movie. Talk about the expectations there.

ALEXANDRA CANAL: Oh my gosh. Well, this Barbie movie, I mean, so many people have talked about it. When the trailer dropped it was going viral on Twitter. Now, it's interesting because we did receive a new note from Stifel which estimated the movie could bring in $400 million at the box office. That's up from previous estimates of $325 million. In terms of that opening weekend number, studios are looking at around $31 million. So anything above that would be considered a huge win there.

But overall, there seems to be a lot of upside potential, not just at the box office, but Stifel argued for Mattel, considering Barbie is one of the most cherished brands at the company. So I think that's definitely one to watch. I'm excited for it. No one really knows the plot, but we have some really big a-list names in there, and I think that always gets people excited.

- True. And that hot pink merch, you're already seeing it everywhere, so I can't wait. Allie Canal, thank you so much.