Disney remake The Lion King presides over the box office takings, aided by director Jon Favreau's photo-realistic CGI effects, nostalgia and a star-studded cast including Donald Glover and Beyonce.
The visually gorgeous re-imagining of Disney's 1994 masterpiece took a mighty $185 million in the USA during its opening weekend, reports Box Office Mojo. Added to this are the film's international takings of $269 million, which bring the movie's total international box office gross to $531 million.
That makes it the fastest-selling Disney remake in the studio's history and the best opening for a July movie, surpassing 2011's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.
"We have a lot to celebrate," says Cathleen Taff, Disney’s president of global distribution who's quoted in a Variety article. "The Lion King has such a resonance in pop culture that you see all different types of people coming out. People wanted to be part of this."
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In terms of US opening weekends, The Lion King lords it over its fellow remake brethren. 2017’s Beauty and the Beast opened to $174 million, followed by 2010’s Alice in Wonderland ($116 million). In 2016, Favreau’s The Jungle Book opened to $103 million and this May just gone, Aladdin debuted with $91.5 million. However, Tim Burton’s Dumbo struggled with a $45 million opening weekend.
The Lion King's victory comes amid a plethora of Disney success stories. Marvel movie Avengers: Endgame is now the highest-grossing movie of all time, having overtaken Avatar with worldwide grosses of $2.789 billion. And Disney-Pixar's Toy Story 4, reuniting us with Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the gang, has crossed $800 million at the global box office.