Since Disney revealed it would be making a live-action version of “The Little Mermaid,” the movie has come under attack online, particularly because of racial complaints about Halle Bailey’s selection for the role of the mermaid Ariel. However, when it was released in the US, it still managed to win the top spot at the weekend box office. Critics have given the film, which debuted in theaters on May 26, a variety of ratings. However, it appears that a large number of the online audience reviews have been unnaturally influenced by “review bombing,” — the practice of people flooding online movie review sites with unfavorable comments in an effort to undermine the success of a movie. Over 14,000 of the 34,000 ratings the movie received on IMDb were one-star reviews. IMDb noted in its review that the volume of these reviews
The website’s disclaimer for IMDb reads: “Unusual voting activity on this title has been discovered by our rating algorithm. An alternative weighting calculation has been used in order to maintain the validity of our rating system.” On IMDb, the movie currently has a 7-star rating. The audience score, which is based on more than 5,000 ratings, is 95%, compared to the critics’ 68% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. CinemaScore, a company that conducts a survey of moviegoers on a film’s opening night, gave the movie an “A” rating. The movie had a notable opening weekend for box office receipts despite criticism and review bombing. According to IMDb, the movie had the fifth-highest opening weekend box office ever. Through Memorial Day, it generated US box office receipts of $117.5 million.
Disney’s 2019 live-action remake of “Aladdin,” which made $116.8 million when it debuted on Memorial Day, was outperformed by “The Little Mermaid” in terms of ticket sales. According to Axios, box office sales are still down by close to 25% from pre-pandemic levels. But if “Aladdin’s” over $1 billion in worldwide box office receipts is any indication, “The Little Mermaid” could be anticipated to bring in about that much in worldwide ticket sales.