Halle Bailey Sneaks Into Theater to See 'The Little Mermaid': See Her Disguise!

The Disney live-action remake, which hit theaters on May 26, earned the highest opening ever for a film with a Black female lead.

Halle Bailey Sneaks Into Theater to See 'The Little Mermaid': See Her Disguise!

Families weren't the only ones taking a trip to the movies to check out The Little Mermaid this weekend! Halle Bailey, who plays Disney's live-action Princess Ariel, also went to see the movie incognito over the film's historic opening weekend.

In a TikTok shared on Sunday, the 23-year-old star revealed how she remained undetected by fans, wearing sunglasses and a face mask. Bailey was able to snag a bucket of popcorn -- decked out to celebrate the Little Mermaid's premiere of course -- and get into a screening of the movie without anyone realizing who she was. She even passes by a filmgoer taking a selfie in front of a large display for The Little Mermaid, seemingly unaware that the newest Disney Princess herself is walking right past her.

"Can't believe the little mermaid is the #1 movie in the world you guys!! went to the theatre to go see it last night," Bailey wrote as the caption for her video. 

Indeed, the Rob Marshall-directed picture had a great opening, earning an estimated $117.5 million domestically, and $185 million worldwide over the four-day holiday weekend. According to Rotten Tomatoes, the film scored the fifth best Memorial Day launch behind Top Gun: Maverick ($160.5 million), Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End ($139.8 million), Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull ($126.9 million), and X-Men: The Last Stand ($122.8 million), and just a half million ahead of Fast & Furious 6 ($117.0 million). 

The film's opening makes it the highest opening ever for a film with a Black female lead, besting Jordan Peele's Us with Lupita N'yongo, which opened to $71.1 million in 2019.

The film also bests Disney's previous Memorial Day weekend film premiere, Aladdin, which earned $116.8 million through the holiday.

Disney's live-action remake of The Little Mermaid gives fans the classic fairytale with several modern-day tweaks, including three new songs and several updates to the soundtrack's iconic tunes.

The music reflects the film's refreshed story, which Marshall, producer John DeLuca, and screenwriter David Magee have explained they tweaked to implement specific changes showcasing a more modern Disney princess, addressing criticism that the original film featured a young woman who was too wrapped up in a man, and giving Ariel more agency.

The soundtrack features the vocal talents of the film's new cast, including the GRAMMY-nominated Bailey as the titular mermaid, Princess ArielJonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric, Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, and Javier Bardem as King Triton, with Daveed Diggs as the voice of Sebastian the crab, Jacob Tremblay as Flounder, and Awkwafina as Scuttle.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, who teamed up with legendary composer-songwriter Alan Menken to write the film's new songs, previously told ET that "getting to write music for these characters that are probably the reason I started writing musicals in the first place, was actually easier than I thought."

"But the hardest part was my own intimidation working with Alan Menken, and that was entirely self-imposed," acknowledged Miranda, who also serves as a producer on the film, alongside Marc Platt. "But when it came to how these characters speak and what they say, I've known that all my life. So that was a joy."

Bailey echoed the sentiment when speaking with ET about the various song changes ahead of the film's premiere.

"I think naturally, I just really tried my best to stay true to myself with every choice that I would make in acting, especially in the songs," Bailey said. "I was really grateful to Rob Marshall that he gave me the freedom to just be me and sing how Halle would sing. And some of those inflections and riffs I was allowed to do -- that was fun to be able to play because the original music that we have is so beautiful and such a staple in all of our childhoods; the fact that I got to tweak and edit it a little bit was like so much fun and a joy to have that creative freedom."

"Moments like those are really fun when you get to sing with your favorite songs," she gushed.

The Little Mermaid is now out in theaters.


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