For some time Disney films were seemingly barred from release in China, that is until former CEO Bob Iger returned to the company. For the past decade, many Hollywood studios have looked at the foreign box office as guaranteed money with China being a big part.
But ever since the COVID-19 Pandemic of 2020, China has seemingly ignored most major Western productions in favor of homemade films or films from other Asian countries. But that isn’t stopping Disney from trying.
Later this week will be the latest installment of their live-action remakes, The Little Mermaid starring Halle Bailey.
It doesn’t seem like the film is tracking well in China.
Lately, it’s hit or miss for films released in China. ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ performed very well in the country, and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 also did relatively well. Meanwhile other films like ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ didn’t fare well.
Now ‘The Little Mermaid’ is also looking to disappoint at the Chinese box office.
#TheLittleMermaid 1st day presale only ￥40K / $5700, less than 4% of #ソードアート・オンライン #SwordArtOnline which release on the same day— 防弹松鼠 (@bulletproofsqui) May 20, 2023
even￥5M / $0.7M total is not save#ChinaBoxOffice #BoxOffice pic.twitter.com/Rtd8hyncw9
Meanwhile in #China’s #BoxOffice, ticket pre-sales for #TheLittleMermaid show no signs of reaction.#Disney liveaction finished SUN with a scary $13k total after 3 days of pre-sales, for the whole MAY 25-28 period.— Luiz Fernando (@Luiz_Fernando_J) May 21, 2023
Could be the worst opening ever for Hollywood tentpole in China. pic.twitter.com/EMCDjyDFYP
It seems that the film may only have $13k in pre-sales. Not $13 million, $13 thousand. Of course that could go up with people buying tickets at the theater.
CBR compared these numbers to the last live-action release in China, Cruella and Mulan, which was considered a miss in China.
“Cruella, which was the last live-action adaptation to hit Chinese theaters, was also predicted to earn low figures and ultimately grossed $1.6 million upon opening and $24 million over its entire theatrical run in China. Mulan, which was the last live-action remake released before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, grossed $307,000 in a day of presales and $23 million upon opening, leading to $40.7 million over the course of its theatrical run in China.”
Those films performed better upon opening than pre-sales predicted, but they did not pre-sell this low.
We will have to wait and see what will happen at the box office this coming weekend. With Disney seemingly running out of films to remake the overall trend has somewhat soured with audiences. Again, all we can do is wait.
What do you think The Little Mermaid will make at the box office?
Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.