The Lion King reigns supreme at the box office, becoming the highest-grossing Disney live-action remake during its opening weekend. Jon Favreau's photorealistic CGI remake of the 1994 animated classic has taken the world by storm, but divided many critics along the way. Even though the film has been praised for its technological feats, there were very little changes made to the original story, leaving many to question why a remake was even needed in the first place. But, regardless of critic opinion, the film made a triumphant debut at the box office, and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
This film also marks Disney's fourteenth live-action remake (and their sixth Rotten one, according to Rotten Tomatoes). In 2019 alone, the Mouse House slated four live-action remakes, with The Lion King following the release of Guy Ritchie's Aladdin and Tim Burton's Dumbo, with Maleficent: Mistress of Evil being their final release of the year in October. Even if reviews for some of these films have been less-than-stellar, they've proven to be major money makers for the company, with Aladdin even raking in close to $1 billion during its box office run. But, these numbers from previous live-action remakes are next-to-nothing compared to the moviegoing stampede that bombarded the box office for The Lion King.
According to Box Office Mojo, The Lion King has broken an opening weekend record for Disney's highest-grossing live-action remake. It's opening brought in an astonishing $185,000,000, with 2017's Beauty and the Beast trailing behind it with an opening weekend pull of $174,750,616. Currently, the latter still remains Disney's highest-grossing live-action feature, but if The Lion King were to continue on a steady upward climb, it could easily become king of the live-action box office for the Mouse House.
This news isn't all that shocking, as Disney's been on a box office role as of late with a variety of their releases. Recently, Avengers: Endgame officially surpassed James Cameron's sci-fi adventure, Avatar, becoming the highest-grossing movie of all time. Not only was this an astonishing accomplishment for both Disney and Marvel, but it proved that audiences will pay whatever they need to see what the Mouse House has in store. The company's cinematic reign is far from over, though, especially now that they have Fox properties under their belt and a streaming service on the horizon.
To their credit, Disney continues to create high-quality content that's worth paying the exhaustively high movie ticket price to see. No matter what critics have to say about their live-action remakes, they've all been stunning attempts at breathing new life into beloved animated classics; not to mention having major brands with massive fan bases, such as Marvel and the Star Wars franchise, under their umbrella means that Disney won't be going anywhere for a while. The Lion King's box office success is further proof that audiences revel in nostalgia, and that alone is Disney's favorite form of profit.
Source: Box Office Mojo
- Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019) release date: Oct 18, 2019