According to Box Office Mojo, Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid has only grossed $3.6 million in mainland China since it opened there on May 26. The Chinese box office tracker Endata confirmed that the film made 19.5 million yuan ($2.7 million) in its first five days. In comparison, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse made 142 million yuan (nearly $20 million) in the first five days after its release.
Additionally, in South Korea The Little Mermaid has made $4.4 million since May 24. On IMDb, the movie was subjected to “review bombing” or the practice of user intentionally leaving bad reviews to try to lower its rating. Ultimately, the issue forced IMDb to warn of “unusual voting activity” and change how it calculates the ratings.
Internationally, The Little Mermaid has grossed around $327 million, with $186 million of that amount being domestic and $141 million coming from international fans, per Comscore. China boasts the world’s second largest box office, but hasn’t contributed much since fans were upset by Halle Bailey’s casting.
Douban, a famous Chinese movie review website, the film scored just 5.1 out of 10. A different Chinese movie review and box office tracking platform, Maoyan, users complained about Bailey’s race and it being a major factor in them not supporting the movie. The film hasn’t opened in Japan yet, but social media and online forums reiterate racist hate for Ariel being Black.
Despite the vitriol, The Little Mermaid did better in other Asian markets like the Philippines and Indonesia. Per Comscore data, the film made $4.4 million and $4.1 million, respectively. It was also ranked the most popular film in Italy and the second most popular in the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Brazil and Mexico.