Disney’s live-action take on The Little Mermaid has been cleared for theatrical release in China, as has Fast X — the penultimate installment in Universal’s long-running Fast & Furious action franchise. Dates are still to be set for both films in the market which has increasingly been handing out day-and-date releases for Hollywood titles even if audiences have been somewhat tepid of late. Hope springs.
The Little Mermaid, directed by Rob Marshall and starring Halle Bailey as Ariel, begins overseas rollout on May 24 and swims to North America on May 26.
Fast X, from director Louis Leterrier, goes a week earlier with international play revving up on May 17 and the U.S. and Canada joining on May 19. The Fast movies have been major attractions in China with the franchise (including Hobbs & Shaw) grossing over $1.2B since Fast & Furious 6 in 2013. F9 in 2021 had a staggered overseas release with China going a full five weeks ahead of domestic amid recovery in offshore markets.
Uni released the first trailer for Fast X last month. It picks up with globe-trotting street racer Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his crew, as they look to fend off the pair of big baddies that are out for them — cyberterrorist Cipher (Charlize Theron) and her mysterious cohort, Dante (Jason Momoa) — with the help of a new friend named Tess (Brie Larson).
The Little Mermaid is based on Disney’s 1989 animated Oscar-winning pic of the same title which itself was based on hans Christian Andersen’s 1837 fairy tale. This movie centers on Ariel, the youngest of King Triton’s (Javier Bardem) 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 (Jonah Hauer-King). While mermaids are forbidden to interact with humans, Ariel must follow her heart. She makes a deal with the evil sea witch, Ursula (Melissa McCarthy), ultimately placing her life – and her father’s crown – in jeopardy.
Also starring are Tony Award winner Daveed Diggs as the voice of Sebastian; Jacob Tremblay as the voice of Flounder; Awkwafina as the voice of Scuttle; Art Malik as Sir Grimsby; and Noma Dumezweni as Queen Selina.
Coming up in China, Paramount/eOne’s Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves releases day-and-date with domestic this Friday while 20th Century/Disney’s Titanic is set for an April 3 25th anniversary reissue.