‘The Lion King’ Regal Overseas With $192M Through Friday

Nancy Tartaglione

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SATURDAY UPDATE: On Friday, Disney’s The Lion King added another 10 offshore markets including the UK, Spain and Mexico. Through yesterday, the big cat has now lapped up $192M at the international box office, including $111M from all of this week’s new markets and the play through from China. The film looks primed to pounce into the $300M neighborhood overseas through Sunday.

In China, where the Jon Favreau-helmed adaptation of the classic animated title released early last weekend, the cume through Friday is $81M. Including today’s flash estimate, the total there is around $90M (the Saturday figure is not part of the international total above).

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Friday’s key openers were led by the UK’s $6.5M which is the biggest launch day for a Disney-branded live-action film ever. It’s the 2nd highest opening day of 2019 behind only Disney/Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame

Mexico debuted with the 5th highest industry opening day of all time and came in 66% ahead of Beauty And The Beast with $5.9M. Spain kicked off with the 2nd biggest opening day of 2019 at $3.7M.

Currently leading all play is China where local title Looking Up is dominating the weekend as expected. Behind China, France is in 2nd place at $11.2M through Friday. Rounding out the Top 5 so far are Australia ($8.9M), Brazil ($8.3M) and Russia ($7.6M).

The Lion King is now open in all material offshore markets save Japan, Italy and Hong Kong. We’ll have a full look at the weekend’s Hakuna Matata moola tomorrow.

FRIDAY UPDATE: Disney’s The Lion King continues to prey on the international box office with a cume through Thursday of $130.5M. That’s made up of a running $76.6M cume from China, where it released early last weekend, and $53.9M from 42 other offshore markets which opened Wednesday and Thursday. On Thursday, the Jon Favreau-directed adaptation of the animated classic prowled into such key hubs as Brazil and Russia. In all Thursday opening markets, Simba was the No. 1 cub.

Pre-weekend industry projections for the new hubs — ie excluding the China holdover — are expected to be dusted with a start north of $200M through Sunday. Add in China, and overseas is looking at a cume in the $300M range within its first 10 days.

Speaking of China, the early Friday estimate is about $4.4M to lift the local cume to $81M — this is not included in the numbers above. With competition from Chinese pic Looking Up, TLK should brush against $100M in the Middle Kingdom through Sunday. Next week will see a local animated movie, Ne Zha, enter the market off strong audience scores from previews this week. Also not included in the cumes above is the Korea progression where the movie is now at an estimated $6.4M through Friday.

Elsewhere, the Thursday openers on TLK include Brazil with the 2nd highest industry launch day of all time, behind only Avengers: Endgame. At $4.5M, it more than doubled the opening day of Beauty And The Beast.

Latin America saw the highest opening day of all time across the region for a Disney branded live action film. Again, more than twice what BATB did in 2017.

Russia logged the 3rd best industry opening day ever with $4.1M to more than triple BATB.

In holdovers from Wednesday, France is now at $8.3M through Thursday, and is currently the lead offshore market outside China. Australia has cumed $5.5M in two days, Germany is at $4.2M and the Netherlands has amassed $2.3M.

The Lion King continues rolling out this weekend and will be open in all of the material international markets by Sunday with the exception of Japan, Italy and Hong Kong.

Today adds the UK, Spain and Mexico along with Poland, South Africa, Turkey, India, Vietnam, Ecuador and Venezuela.

Updates to come through the weekend.

PREVIOUS THURSDAY UPDATE, writethru: After bowing in China last weekend, Disney’s The Lion King has begun its prowl at the majority of the international box office with a $21.9M Wednesday across 19 newly-opened markets. Also through yesterday, the China cume has lifted to $72.6M, making for a $94.5M offshore total to date.

There were pride-worthy bows in several markets on Wednesday including the 2nd highest debut day of the year in France, Germany, Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand — each behind only Avengers: Endgame. The Netherlands start was the 3rd best industry launch ever.

France, where you can’t swing any kind of cat (from restaurant reservations site LaFourchette to national news network FranceInfo) without Lion King-related alerts, is a standout. The opening day of $4.8M is the biggest live-action release ever from The Walt Disney Studios behind only Avengers: Endgame in terms of admissions (2006’s Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, which is ranked higher than both of those per local reporting services, includes previews). Nevertheless, the opening day was more than double those of Beauty And The Beast and The Jungle Book in France, Germany and Korea.

Including Thursday estimates not included in the above offshore cume, Korea has risen to $4M while in China, The Lion King has grossed $76.6M through today. As expected, local title Looking Up dominated in its Middle Kingdom opening day today with an estimated $9.1M. This is unsurprising since the movie is the only homegrown pic to have any traction in an upside-down summer during which censors have wreaked havoc with potential blockbusters. Looking Up did a huge push over the past weeks, with late-add preview screenings from last Saturday. Regardless, TLK should be right around $100M through Sunday in the market.

The Lion King will be open in all international markets with the exception of Japan, Italy and Hong Kong by Sunday. Today sees further openings in 22 territories including Russia and Brazil. 
We’ll be updating throughout the weekend.

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