If you haven’t heard, Disney is doing another remake of a classic. The “The Little Mermaid” reboot is set to be debuted in China and elsewhere on Friday, May 26. And already, things are not looking very good.
Now, to be sure, a debut in China is a bit of a win for Disney, as virtually no American films have been allowed to debut in the communist nation for a while now. However, that doesn’t mean that all is sunshine and rainbows.
If ticket pre-sales are any indication, the film is in line to become the very “worst opening ever for Hollywood tentpole in China,” according to IMDb. The website reported that only a measly $13,000 in pre-sales has been made so far, “indicating a severe lack of interest from China’s moviegoers.”
Now, to be sure, this is just what we’re seeing in China. The film could end up being a hit in the US or anywhere else it is being shown. But compared to the views of its trailer, this is pretty abysmal.
As The Hollywood Reporter tells it, within the first hours of the trailer’s release, it had already garnered some 108 million views globally. Naturally, this suggested to Disney and everyone else that the film would likely be a hit.
And then it got its release date, and pre-sales began. Suddenly, things went downhill.
If you haven’t seen the trailer, there is reason for the film to be a bit controversial. For starters, it has cast pop singer and actress Halle Bailey in the role of Ariel. Bailey is black, unlike the fair-skinned, blue-eyed redhead everyone is familiar with thanks to Hans Christian Anderson’s original story.
Due to this controversy, Disney was forced to turn off the comments on the YouTube trailer page.
Of course, this is also Disney, who has long been battling with Florida’s hard-hitting Republican Governor Ron DeSantis. And many once-Disney fans have since lost interest in a company that is ok with grade school students learning about sexual identities and experiencing drag shows.
In any case, Disney could once again have a major flop on their hands.