‘The Lion King’ Set to Devour July Box Office Opening Weekend Record

Jeremy Fuster
Predictions of Disney’s box office domination in 2019 has proven to be all too true, as the studio has broken its own all-time annual global box office record in just seven months thanks to Marvel films like “Avengers: Endgame” and its latest release, “The Lion King.” The previous record had been set by Disney back in 2016, the year when it began to show off the power it had accumulated through its acquisition of several major franchises. Films like Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Rogue One,” Marvel Studios’ “Captain America: Civil War,” Pixar’s “Finding Dory” and Disney Animation’s “Zootopia” combined for the first ever $3 billion domestic year and a global annual total of $7.61 billion worldwide. Also Read: 'Aladdin' to Hit $1 Billion Friday as Disney Remakes Keep Ruling Box Office But in 2019, Disney has blown by that total in seven months… but really in just four. Unlike in 2016, when Disney got off to a good start thanks to the lingering presence of “The Force Awakens” after its holiday 2015 release, the studio didn’t have a huge holiday moneymaker to get things going early this year. Holiday holdovers “Mary Poppins Returns” and “Ralph Breaks the...

Disney’s “The Lion King” is taking its place as king of the box office, grossing an estimated $78.5 million from 4,725 screens on its opening day, as industry estimates now project a $175-190 million opening weekend.

Not only would an opening in that range stand behind “Avengers: Endgame” as the second-highest opening of 2019, it would break the July opening weekend record and possibly the record for animated films as well. The current July opening record belongs to “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2” with $169.1 million in 2011. The animation record, which once belonged to the original “Lion King” from 1994 to 2003, is held by “Incredibles 2” with $182 million.

Also Read: 'The Lion King' Could Compete for the Best Animated Feature Oscar - But Will It?

“The Lion King” is also currently on course to top the opening weekends of its fellow Disney remakes. Director Jon Favreau’s previous entry in the remake series, “The Jungle Book,” opened to $103 million, while the top opening for the series was made by “Beauty and the Beast” with $174 million in 2017.

Critics and audiences are receiving “The Lion King” with scores nearly identical to those of “Aladdin” two months ago. While critics are divided with a 55% Rotten Tomatoes score, audiences enjoyed the CGI nostalgia trip with an A on CinemaScore and a 4/5 on Postrak. Rotten Tomatoes’ recently-added “Verified” audience score also reports a moviegoer rating of 89%.

Also Read: 'The Lion King' Film Review: Impressive Technical Mastery Drains the Life From the Original

Industry estimates currently show that approximately three out of four tickets sold this weekend are for “The Lion King,” so all other films on the charts this weekend took a big drop. Sony’s “Spider-Man: Far From Home” will still cross $300 million domestic this weekend, as it takes the No. 2 spot on the charts with an estimated $20 million third weekend total. Disney/Pixar’s “Toy Story 4” will reach $375 million domestic with an estimated $14 million grossed in its fifth weekend.

Paramount’s “Crawl,” which opened to $12 million last weekend, is estimated to drop 52% for a $5.7 million total and a 10-day total of $23.6 million. Universal’s “Yesterday” completes the top five with $4.7 million grossed in its fourth weekend for a $57 million total.

Read original story ‘The Lion King’ Set to Devour July Box Office Opening Weekend Record At TheWrap