It’s Disney‘s THE LITTLE MERMAID making a huge splash in its opening, taking $105 million Friday to Sunday from 4,320 theatres. By Monday, it is expected to gross $125 million this U.S. Memorial Day weekend. It gets generally favourable reviews with 67% on the Tomatometer. This is a far cry from its animated predecessor’s $6 million opening in 1989.
Second is FAST X with $21.8 million for the three day weekend, taking its two week total to $112.1 million for Universal Pictures.
In third is GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3 with $20 million, a run of $306 million for Marvel/Disney over four weekends.
Fourth is THE SUPER MARIO BROS. MOVIE with $6.2 million for Universal Pictures, a tally of $560 million domestically over eight weekends.
THE MACHINE opens at the bottom of the Top Five with $2.6 million for Sony Pictures. The Action-Comedy gets 29% on the Tomatometer.
You would be hard-pressed to find anyone of the generation who was affected by Disney‘s 1989 animated classic, THE LITTLE MERMAID. The release of its live-action adaptation directed by Rob Marshall finally is before us after a five-plus year labour of love getting it readied and after having seen it myself, I can say without a doubt fans will adore it. Spectacular visuals, affecting song and superb performances from its Ensemble sweep you away into Ariel’s (Halle Bailey) world as she must choose between leaving her family behind for love, after meeting Prince Eric (Jonah Hauer-King) whose life she saves.
One of the Film’s stars, our very own Jacob Tremblay returned to Toronto to walk the Blue Carpet. The Vancouver-born star who got his big break mesmerizing us in Toronto-made and Oscar-winning “Room” certainly is growing-up quickly, now 16-years-old. Tremblay plays Flounder in the Film, one of Ariel’s confidantes and a key part of the story in her overcoming the villainous Sea Witch Ursula, played by Melissa McCarthy.
We had the joy of reuniting again with Tremblay, having followed his career from the start.
We ask Tremblay about his fondest memories of the City.
Tremblay: “I really like visiting the Aquarium and what was really cool was one time I got to go to a Blue Jays game. That was a really cool experience.”.
The comraderie shared between him, Awkwafina who plays Scuttle the Seagull and Daveed Diggs who plays Sebastian the Crab is so palpable and a key component to the Film’s success. We ask him about the bonding process and actually having the luxury of doing voice work in-studio.
Tremblay: “Well yeah, you’re right. We were able to do it literally right before COVID happened, so getting to work with everyone was really cool and it was really great having the ability to just riff off one another when we were recording altogether. It definitely helped the performance a lot.”.
We ask him on a personal level what The LIttle Mermaid means to him.
Tremblay: “I don’t even remember watching it for the first time because I had been so young when I was shown it. These songs have been on replay for most of my childhood. This Movie was definitely a family favourite of ours and I watched it a bunch. Being able to part of the live-action is very exciting for me.”.
Tremblay‘s Wonder Co-Star Millie Davis also came out to show support and walk the Carpet with him!
Some Snaps from the night:
Walt Disney Studios Canada release THE LITTLE MERMAID Friday, May 26, 2023.
(Photo/video credit: Walt Disney Studios Canada/Mr. Will Wong)
Walt Disney Studios Canada x Mr. Will are delighted to offer Vancouver readers a chance to win tickets to the advance screening of THE LITTLE MERMAID.
Screening Date: May 24 at 7 p.m.
Screening Location: Scotiabank Theatre Vancouver
“The Little Mermaid” visionary filmmaker Rob Marshall’s live-action reimagining of the studio’s Oscar@-winning animated musical classic, opens exclusively in theatres nationwide May 26, 2023. “The Little Mermaid” is the beloved story of Ariel, a beautiful and spirited young mermaid with a thirst for adventure.
To enter for a chance to win, click “like” on this Post at MR. WILL ON FACEBOOK. Another chance for you on Twitter:
Vancouver! Your chance to win passes to the advance screening of #TheLittleMermaid!https://t.co/eroB8iyQu1 pic.twitter.com/xaT4gWpxVy— MR. WILL WONG 📸 (@mrwillw) May 11, 2023
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The Little Mermaid opens in theatres on May 26, 2023.
(Photo/video credit: Disney)
By Mr. Will Wong
After its debut in 1989, Disney animated feature THE LITTLE MERMAID would go on to become a global phenomenon, winning Golden Globes and Oscars, in addition to winning the hearts of a generation of fans. Some 34 years later, we get Rob Marshall‘s live-action adaptation of this tale of a mermaid who seeks to carve her own path, finding love with a human prince is about to enchant a new generation once again.
We were delighted to join a global press conference with the Director, Composer and Producer of Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID. In-attendance were:
Two-time Oscar nominee Melissa McCarthy plays Sea Witch Ursula. She talks about the excitement of people finally seeing this labour of love, which began production five years ago. She and her castmates attended last night’s Hollywood Premiere, which was a grand street-shutting affair.
McCarthy: “It’s really exciting. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve done it, you’re like ‘Do they really shut it down? Is the whole street blue?’. This is why I love movies, making them and everything got kind of exciting. It’s been such a long labour of love. It’s taken a while to make this beautiful thing. It’s like sending the kids off on a bus.”.
“This is the first time my kids have wanted to come to a premiere. I was nervous, but also excited they were there. They loved the Movie so much. It was fun seeing them be excited about seeing people and meeting them. They were like, ‘Oh my God, Halle is sitting behind us!’”.
Halle Bailey who stars in the plum role of Ariel, talks about her sister Chloe, who happens to be other half of their duo Chloe x Halle, finally seeing her breakthrough performance on-screen last night.
Bailey: “My sister is my best friend, she’s my rock and so yesterday was her first time seeing the Film! She cried. She was squeezing my hand so tight the whole time. I’m just so happy she loved it. And I can pat myself on the back that my big sister loved it.”.
Bailey also recalls the moment she learned she got the call from Director Rob Marshall.
Bailey: “My first reaction was sobbing. I think we had just celebrated my sister’s birthday, before renting an Airbnb and I got this call from Rob. I don’t answer unknown numbers. And my baby brother said. ‘Answer your phone!’ and I was like okay. It was Rob and he said, “Hello, I’m looking for Ariel!’. I was just crying the whole day.”.
Jonah Hauer-King is a real revelation as Prince Eric in this live-action adaptation and he talks about the warm reception the Film has gotten already.
Hauer-King: “It’s horrendous having to sing on-screen with a Grammy-nominated Artist in a film. That’s not fun for anyone. It was an amazing night and I think the reaction from the audience to the music was incredible. It felt like such a warm reaction, so much great energy in the room. It was quite special.”.
Hamilton star Daveed Diggs plays lovable crab Sebastian and though his castmates had seen the Film prior, it was his first time seeing it. He compares the experience working on The Little Mermaid to that of his theatre roots.
Diggs: “It was my first time seeing it and this song came on that I hadn’t heard before, and the audible ‘SING!’ in the audience. I was unaware you could do that!”
“It’s big, but the way we worked on it wasn’t big. We worked on it like it was a small thing. It felt like Community Theatre, pushing boxes around. We got in this groove and this is how you make Art. We understand something everyone could wrap their arms around and knew it inside and out. When you watch it on this massive screen, we never saw any of that. It’s really cool to see something you only thought existed in your imagination. I thought we were just building a world inside of our heads.”.
Academy Award-winner Javier Bardem stars as King Triton, Ariel’s father and describes taking-in the Film for the first time and also working with on-screen daughter, Bailey.
Bardem: “I’m sorry about my voice. That’s why I don’t have a song in the Movie! I loved the energy, it was amazing. People were honestly truly, deeply moved by it. Everybody was cheering and supporting the hard work a lot of people have done with this Movie.”.
“Right in the moment I met her (Bailey), I fell for her. She has this thing where you can’t help but love her unconditionally. That was the first day. The rest of the Movie we just had fun and enjoyed the process. It was easy for us to connect. I was mesmerized by the quality of her performance – as an Actress and how much courage she had going to places she had to go.”.
Canada’s Jacob Tremblay continues to make us proud and he voices Flounder, one of Ariel’s three confidantes on her journey. He talks about the experience voicing his role in-person. And despite being born long after the timeless 1989 predecessor of this new version, it still was a part of his growing-up.
Tremblay: “We were all together for quite some time in-studio in England and got to know each other so well. That helped with the voicework. I preferred it more than being in a booth or on Zoom like during Covid. It was a privilege to be together and to do our scenes together.”.
“I think just because it came out quite some time before I was born, I don’t remember not knowing the characters. It was still a big part of my childhood. I watched it quite a few times before going-in to film. I had to embody Flounter’s anxiety, but at the same time make sure I made it my own. It was great with everyone there, being able to riff off each other.”.
Awkwafina is a real scene-stealer as Scuttle, the seagull who joins forces with Sebastian and Flounder. Like Tremblay, she describes the unique experience of collaborating in-person here. She also talks about the importance of diversity on-screen – which feels seamless here – and also how she relates to her character.
Awkwafina: “This is the first time I’ve ever read a scene with other Actors. Usually we’re in a booth, while other Actors or the Director reads with you. It all just happened there and there were other people there too. That one day was where most of our performances came from.”.
“It really reflects the world we live in and everyone deserves to see themselves on-screen. This Movie also just celebrates really amazing performances. I did enjoy Scuttle and enjoyed watching it. I am Scuttle after like two Margaritas on a Tuesday. I’m very neurotic. I am Scuttle for sure.”.
Bailey tells us about the kinship between her and her character Ariel.
Bailey: “I tell people all the time that Ariel has helped me find myself and this young woman version of me. This was five years of my life, 18 to 23, those were intense transformative years developing as a young woman. The Film’s themes of what she had to go through – her passion, drive and speaking up for herself. What might be scary, she went for it. I try to adopt and give to Halle now.”.
Hauer-King talks about how while The Little Mermaid is fantastical, it actually is quite grounded in reality. He also reveals how this Film approaches the love story between Ariel and Prince Eric from a new lens.
Hauer-King: “It was a great privilege and a huge honour. The whole Film feels grounded in reality. Watching it last night made me realize for all of us even though we were living in a fantasy space, it feels really connected to the real world. Being a Disney Prince is weird, isn’t it?”.
“Disney romances are always filled with instinctive attraction to one another. What was fun about this was that it came from our off-screen selves. Looking at Ariel and Eric as two people who were kindred spirits, restless and behind four walls of their respective castles looking outward and not in. Their relationship feels earned, teaching each other things, excited and fascinated by each other’s worlds and didn’t know it till the end. That’s what makes it last and special – the friendship tied to it.”.
Laurence Olivier Award-winning Thespian Noma Dumezweni stars as Prince Eric’s mother Queen Selina in the Film. She attributes the Film’s perfection to Director Rob Marshall.
Dumezweni: “It’s the spectacle and herding cats of it. It’s about making extraordinary people feel comfortable with what they’re doing. Rob and Jon (DeLuca, Producer) are theatre babies. Having a rehearsal on-set is such a rare thing in the TV and Film world. This is what we’re aiming for and we can be free when we’re doing it.”.
McCarthy also talks about the supportive space that Marshall created for her and her castmates.
McCarthy: “I remember the crazy 60-foot clamshell and trying not to cry every time I sang a melody. Rob sets-up this world like it is and this is why I fell in love with plays. It feels so small and you know it’s this enormous thing. If we all do our best, maybe we can make a show and it becomes so personal and everyone’s doing their best. And he’s swaddled in cashmere, quietly cheering everyone on from Actors to gorgeous camera moves and the Sound Department’s killing it. I have an appreciation of all the moving parts it takes to make a movie work. Having a cheerleader like that – we’re just so fortunate. The world wouldn’t be so mad if it had such a soft, gentle cheerleader.”.
Legendary Composer Alan Menken gets to see his compositions for The Little Mermaid take on a second life here in this new adaptation. He sings high praise for Bailey.
Menken: “She’s adorable, so talented and you can’t take your eyes off her. The emotion is on her face and in her voice, she’s Halle Bailey, a delicious person and amazing Ariel. You see it in levels.”.
Rob Marshall recalls Bailey being the first person he had seen for the role of Ariel and she set the benchmark with her audition off the bat.
Marshall: “The first Actor we saw for role was Halle. The first thing she did was sing for us and sang that song. She shut her eyes and sang that song. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. She’s so deeply connected to what she’s singing about, so emotional and beautiful. How is it that we’ve been doing it for five minutes and already have found Ariel? We saw hundreds of Actors, every ethnicity, but she claimed the role for her.”.
Walt Disney Studios Canada release THE LITTLE MERMAID May 26, 2023.
(Photo/video credit: Disney)
Advance tickets for Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” the live-action reimagining of the studio’s animated musical classic, are now available for purchase wherever tickets are sold. This includes tickets for “Disney’s The Little Mermaid Early Access Screening” taking place on Wednesday, May 24 in IMAX® and Premium Large Format theatres nationwide. Every guest will receive a commemorative poster with special music offer to add to their collection. Now fans, can purchase tickets by visiting: https://www.thelittlemermaidmovie.ca/.
The “Part of Your World” single is available today at Apple Music, Amazon Music, Spotify, YouTube Music and the visualizer video can be seen on YouTube. The brand new soundtrack for Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” is available now to pre-add at Apple Music, for pre-order on vinyl at Disney Music Emporium and for pre-order on CD. To celebrate, check out a new TV spot and character posters for the film. “The Little Mermaid,” helmed by visionary filmmaker Rob Marshall, opens exclusively in theatres nationwide May 26, 2023.
“The Little Mermaid” is the beloved story of Ariel, a beautiful and spirited young mermaid with a thirst for adventure. The youngest of King Triton’s daughters and the most defiant, Ariel longs to find out more about the world beyond the sea and, while visiting the surface, falls for the dashing Prince Eric. While mermaids are forbidden from interacting with humans, Ariel must follow her heart. She makes a deal with the evil sea witch, Ursula, which gives her a chance to experience life on land but ultimately places her life – and her father’s crown – in jeopardy. The film stars singer and actress Halle Bailey (“grown-ish”) as Ariel; Jonah Hauer-King (“A Dog’s Way Home”) as Eric; Tony Award® winner Daveed Diggs (“Hamilton”) as the voice of Sebastian; Awkwafina (“Raya and the Last Dragon”) as the voice of Scuttle; Jacob Tremblay (“Luca”) as the voice of Flounder; Noma Dumezweni (“Mary Poppins Returns”) as The Queen; Art Malik (“Homeland”) as Sir Grimsby; with Oscar® winner Javier Bardem (“No Country for Old Men”) as King Triton; and two-time Academy Award® nominee Melissa McCarthy (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?” “Bridesmaids”) as Ursula.
“The Little Mermaid” is directed by Oscar® nominee Rob Marshall (“Chicago,” “Mary Poppins Returns”) with a screenplay by two-time Oscar nominee David Magee (“Life of Pi,” “Finding Neverland”). The songs feature music from multiple Academy Award® winner Alan Menken (“Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin”) and lyrics by Howard Ashman, and new lyrics by three-time Tony Award® winner Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Hamilton,” “In the Heights”). The film is produced by two-time Emmy® winner Marc Platt, (“Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert,” “Grease Live!”), Miranda, two-time Emmy winner John DeLuca, (“Tony Bennett: An American Classic”), and Rob Marshall, with Jeffrey Silver (“The Lion King”) serving as executive producer.
The trailer for Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” the live-action reimagining of the studio’s animated musical classic, are here! Two of the film’s stars, Halle Bailey and Melissa McCarthy, debuted the trailer during the 95th Annual Academy Awards®. “The Little Mermaid,” helmed by visionary filmmaker Rob Marshall, opens exclusively in theatres nationwide May 26, 2023.
“The Little Mermaid” is the beloved story of Ariel, a beautiful and spirited young mermaid with a thirst for adventure. The youngest of King Triton’s daughters and the most defiant, Ariel longs to find out more about the world beyond the sea and, while visiting the surface, falls for the dashing Prince Eric. While mermaids are forbidden to interact with humans, Ariel must follow her heart. She makes a deal with the evil sea witch, Ursula, which gives her a chance to experience life on land but ultimately places her life – and her father’s crown – in jeopardy. The film stars singer and actress Halle Bailey (“grown-ish”) as Ariel; Jonah Hauer-King (“A Dog’s Way Home”) as Prince Eric; Tony Award® winner Daveed Diggs (“Hamilton”) as the voice of Sebastian; Awkwafina (“Raya and the Last Dragon”) as the voice of Scuttle; Jacob Tremblay (“Luca”) as the voice of Flounder; Noma Dumezweni (“Mary Poppins Returns”) as Queen Selina; Art Malik (“Homeland”) as Sir Grimsby; with Oscar® winner Javier Bardem (“No Country for Old Men”) as King Triton; and two-time Academy Award® nominee Melissa McCarthy (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?” “Bridesmaids”) as Ursula.
“The Little Mermaid” is directed by Oscar® nominee Rob Marshall (“Chicago,” “Mary Poppins Returns”)with a screenplay by two-time Oscar nominee David Magee (“Life of Pi,” “Finding Neverland”). The songs feature music from multiple Academy Award® winner Alan Menken (“Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin”) and lyrics by Howard Ashman, and new lyrics by three-time Tony Award® winner Lin-Manuel Miranda. The film is produced by two-time Emmy® winner Marc Platt (“Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert,” “Grease Live!”), Miranda, two-time Emmy winner John DeLuca (“Tony Bennett: An American Classic”), and Rob Marshall, with Jeffrey Silver (“The Lion King”) serving as executive producer.
(Photo/video credit: Disney)
Our George Kozera had the pleasure of attending Walt Disney Studios Canada’s 2022 Holiday Preview, highlighting some of the Studio’s exciting upcoming theatrical and theatrical releases. Here’s a little sneak peek what we can expect after some first looks were offered at the event.
After a two-year absence due to COVID restrictions, it was pure joy to attend the Walt Disney Studios Canada press event for a light breakfast, previews of 2023 releases and a screening of STRANGE WORLD. Disney will be celebrating its 100th Anniversary in 2023 and from what we saw, it will be a banner year for the studio and its audience, either theatrically or streaming on Disney+. Some of the preview highlights had us salivating in anticipation.
The Cinematography in the upcoming live action version of THE LITTLE MERMAID is astonishing and it will be spectacular viewing on the big screen. The same can be said for the Animated Feature ELEMENTAL, its vibrancy and colour palette is hypnotic. ANT MAN & THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA appears darker in tone and execution from the previous two movies, but any film with Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jonathan Majors, Evangeline Lilly and Bill Murray will have me first in line! Snippets of season three of THE MANDALORIAN has inspired me to binge-watch the first two seasons and WILLOW looks very interesting. But what really yanked my crank was SECRET INVASION, the Marvel mini-series starring Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn and award-winning magnet, Olivia Colman.
STRANGE WORLD is Disney’s first foray into the Animated Science-Fiction genre and it is a rollicking success. Jaeger Clade and his young son Searcher go on an expedition to cross the mountains to see what’s on the other side. Searcher comes across a mysterious plant, stays behind to extradite and harvest it back home and Jaeger continues on the journey solo. Fast-forward 25 years…Searcher is now the town’s most successful farmer as this plant has miraculous components and alongside his wife Meridian, his 16-year-old son Ethan and their three-legged dog, their life is blissful. Until they are told by Callisto that the roots source of this plant is being ambushed and they all need to explore the treacherous landscapes of Avalonia inhabited by surreal lifeforms to save it.
There is a myriad of reasons why I fell in love with STRANGE WORLD. The voice work from Jake Gyllenhaal, Dennis Quaid, Gabrielle Union, Lucy Liu and, especially, Jaboukie Young-White as Ethan is exceptional. The animated world of Avalonia is visually intoxicating and I genuinely appreciated that innumerable creatures there were not given annoyingly cute human characteristics. They don’t periodically break into song; they enhance the story and illicit smiles or dreaded anticipation. However, first and foremost, with a standing ovation and bouquets of flowers thrown onto the stage, Disney tackles diversity with gusto, class and bravado. From a “blink and you might miss it” scene of a background character in a wheelchair, to the fact that Searcher and Meridian are a biracial married couple, impressed me to the hilt. Most importantly, taking into account the controversy Disney experienced when it was alleged that one of the characters in its monster hit FROZEN may have been gay, Ethan has a schoolboy crush and it is a another boy. Kudos to Disney for not sensationalizing this and giving space to tell a story that can only be a learning opportunity to some young audience members struggling internally.
Excluding Animated Features from Pixar, STRANGE WORLD is my favourite Disney movie since BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. Whereas I tend to abhor cinematic sequels, I would relish another opportunity to spend more time with the Clade family.
Walt Disney Studios Canada release STRANGE WORLD November 23, 2022.
Two new Disney In-Home releases to tell you all about, Willionaires! THE LITTLE MERMAID and RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET both on February 26, 2019.
In honour of its 30th anniversary, two-time Academy Award®-winner (Best Original Score and Best Original Song “Under the Sea,” 1989) “The Little Mermaid,” dives into the highly celebrated Walt Disney Signature Collection with all-new bonus features and a sing-along mode. The magical, musical tale of mermaid princess Ariel — along with loveable sidekicks Sebastian and Flounder, and the love-to-hate sea witch Ursula — is shore to make a splash with all generations when it comes home for the first time.
In the hilarious, highspeed sequel to 2012’s Oscar®-nominated “Wreck-It Ralph,” video-game bad guy Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) and fellow misfit Vanellope von Schweetz (voice of Sarah Silverman) risk it all by traveling to the expansive, fast-paced world of the internet in an action-packed attempt to save Vanellope’s game Sugar Rush.
To enter to win, click “like” on this Post at MR. WILL ON FACEBOOK. On there tell me which title you are entering to win or if you’re entering for both. You may click “share” from there for an extra chance or Re-Tweet this Tweet from @mrwillw too! Open to Canadian Readers only.
(Photo/video credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada)
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