The new version of The Lion King has become the tenth highest-grossing movie of all time. Released a month ago, Disney’s film is a photorealistic CGI remake of its own 1994 animated feature, and recently became the House of Mouse’s most financially successful movie outside the dual juggernauts of the MCU and Star Wars.
Remakes of movies from the 1980s and 1990s are becoming increasingly frequent, and the success of them is partly due to nostalgia from people who saw the originals as kids and fondly remember them, and now have children of their own who they bring along to see the new offerings. There's also the aspect of studios granting far more focus to international marketing than they have in the past, whereas previously it was all about the domestic take, meaning the trend of films making ever-swelling profits is unlikely to decrease any time soon.
Despite a mixed reception from critics, The Lion King has clearly been a success with audiences. According to Box Office Mojo, the worldwide gross of the film currently stands at $1.351 billion, the tenth highest of all time, knocking Black Panther down a place and putting it $54 million behind the next ranked film, Avengers: Age of Ultron. Despite being released a month ago, the film is still on wide release all over the world, so there's plenty of scope for that total to increase in the next few weeks.
Disney’s success as a company in raking in gargantuan profits is partly down to the increasing number of properties that continue to fall under its umbrella, to the extent that much of the time the company is competing against itself for box office rankings and records. Of the top ten all time worldwide grosses, six of them were productions ultimately operated by Disney, and with the plethora of MCU and Star Wars movies lined up for production and release over the next few years, the records will doubtless continue to fall.
The success of The Lion King shows that the film’s narrative retread and emotionless renderings of its nevertheless beautifully realized animals were no barrier towards the film being the latest in nearly four dozen films to have topped the $1 billion tally. A number of factors contribute to this, but it’s an indication of films such as these being all but immune to critical response, and that people will stampede like a herd of wildebeest to see them.
Source: Box Office Mojo