Disney's The Little Mermaid -- the live-action reimagining of the beloved animated classic -- arrived on Disney+ earlier this month on September 6. At the time of its release, fans took to social media to encourage everyone to stream it, in hopes that it could convince Disney that there is demand for strong, black female princesses and, hopefully, help move the needle on a potential sequel.
There's no way to measure how effective that social media push actually was, but The Little Mermaid has broken some records on the streaming service. This week, Disney announced that The Little Mermaid garnered 16 million views in its first five days of streaming.
According to Disney, it's the most viewed Disney premiere since Hocus Pocus 2 debuted on the streaming service last year.
It's been a bit of a roller coaster ride for The Little Mermaid this year. After a slow start at the box office -- earning $118.6 million in North America over the Memorial Day weekend -- many were concerned it would be a major flop. But it proved to be resilient, eventually ending its domestic box office run with nearly $300 million, making it one of the top five highest-grossing films of the summer domestically. Globally, the film earned $570 million worldwide, making it one of 2023's top ten highest grossing movies.
Although The Little Mermaid sits at a 67% on Rotten Tomatoes with critics, it seems that audiences adore it. It boasts a 94% Audience Score on the website.
The film's audience reception coupled with its box office performance and now impressive streaming numbers, have led some to discussion about a potential sequel. So far Disney has not announced anything officially and, to be honest, we rarely get sequels to these live-action reimaginings -- although it is becoming more commonplace of late.
I wouldn't rule out the possibility of Halle Bailey returning as Ariel in a sequel, but so far nothing official has been announced. But large streaming numbers surely won't hurt.