Disney’s The Lion King remake has predictably dominated the box office in its debut weekend. Directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man, The Jungle Book), the new version of the beloved animated classic ruled the box office with an estimated $185 million for the weekend.
There has been a passionate debate over The Lion King being classed as an animated film or live-action as Disney prefer. I think ‘photo-realistic remake’ is a fairer albeit less catchy classification, but the compromise seems to be ‘reimagining’. How The Lion King is classified might not seem overly important, but when determining which box office records it has broken the waters become a little murky. For example, if we take Disney’s preference as live-action, then The Lion King smashed the previous record held by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows of $169 million back in 2011. However, taking the stance that it is an animated film, then it just topped last year’s The Incredibles 2 as the biggest opening for an animated movie. Either way, records have been broken, it’s up to you to determine which one feels right.
Boosted by a solid early start in China, the rest of the world felt the love with more than $346 million generated since its release. All this stacks up to a global running total of more than $531 million. I think it is safe to assume that following such an impressive launch; The Lion King will join the $1 Billion Club within a matter of weeks. It was a doubly good weekend for Disney with Avengers Endgame knocking Avatar out of the history books as the biggest movie of all time. James Cameron’s film held the record for almost a decade, prior to than it was Titanic directed by (what are the odds) James Cameron. This means for the first time in two decades, the biggest movie of all time is NOT directed by James Cameron.