The Lion King is poised to set a new box office record for Disney's remakes during its opening weekend. Over the last handful of years, the Mouse House has raked in the cash thanks to their bevy of lucrative subsidiaries, including Marvel, Lucasfilm, and Pixar. But of course, they didn't stop there and found another gold mine by producing re-imaginings of some of their animated classics. This enterprise has proven to be largely successful, most recently with Aladdin grossing more than $900 million worldwide. Up next is The Lion King.
Arguably the high point of Disney's 1990s renaissance, The Lion King remains one of the most beloved animated films of all-time 25 years after its release. That's why it was only a matter of time before Disney gave it the remake treatment. Utilizing groundbreaking visual effects technology, director Jon Favreau and company have pushed the envelope, and there's been strong Lion King hype ever since the first teaser trailer debuted last year. Now that the film is entering theaters, it's expected to be a monumental draw.
According to Box Office Pro, The Lion King is projected to earn roughly $185 million domestically in its first three days. This is in the ballpark of the initial estimates from back in May, which had a range of $180-230 million. The Lion King looks like it will have the biggest opening weekend of Disney's recent remakes, beating out Beauty and the Beast's $174 million.
Fortunately for Disney, it appears The Lion King is critic-proof. Like many of the other Disney remakes, the new take on The Lion King received mixed reviews. Just about everyone is in agreement that it's an astonishing technical achievement, but felt it was a by-the-numbers rehash that lacked the heart and emotion of the original (due in part to the photorealistic animals being less expressive than their animated counterparts). Sometimes, word-of-mouth can impact a film's box office prospects, but that isn't the case here. The Lion King is too big of a property to fail, and it's going to be one of the biggest hits of the year. Disney already has the top 3 movies of 2019, and they may have the top 4 by the time The Lion King is out of theaters.
The Lion King also seems set to have a long, fruitful run and won't be facing much direct competition the first couple of weeks it's out. Spider-Man: Far From Home has already been out for more than two weeks and has done a majority of its damage by now, and there aren't any other franchise tentpoles until Hobbs & Shaw in early August. Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a highly-anticipated offering, but its target demographic is obviously very different from the family-friendly audience Disney is going for with The Lion King. As has been the case recently, there's no slowing down Disney as they produce hit after hit.
Source: Box Office Pro
- The Lion King (2019) release date: Jul 19, 2019