You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Box Office: ‘Lion King’ Tracking Mighty $150 Million-Plus Opening Weekend

Disney’s big return to the Pride Lands looks to be a lucrative one. Jon Favreau’s high-profile remake of “The Lion King” is eyeing a massive $150 million opening when it hits theaters on July 19, according to early tracking.

That number could fluctuate in weeks to come as Disney ramps up its marketing push. Box office tracking is always something of an inexact science, but predictions have been particularly off this summer with a number of high-profile movies coming in outside of estimates.

Disney does have reason for optimism. For one, advanced ticket sales have been sky-high. Fandango reports that “The Lion King” is selling record numbers of presale tickets, outpacing fellow Disney remakes “Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin” and “The Jungle Book” at the same point in their sales cycles. It’s tracking only behind “Avengers: Endgame” in terms of advanced tickets for 2019 movies.

Favreau enlisted an A-list cast for “The Lion King,” including Donald Glover as Simba, Beyonce as Nala, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, and Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen as Timon and Pumbaa. James Earl Jones is reprising his voice role as Mufasa from the original animated movie, which debuted just over 25 years ago.

“The Lion King” is the third of Disney’s three live-action remakes that arrived on the big screen this year. Tim Burton’s “Dumbo” ended its box office run with a lackluster (by Disney standards) $351 million globally. “Aladdin,” directed by Guy Ritchie, has fared better, earning $815 million worldwide to date.

Favreau previously directed Disney’s 2016 re-imagining of “The Jungle Book,” which launched with $103 million and went on to collect a huge $966 million worldwide. The studio also had massive success with its adaptation of “Beauty and the Beast” with Emma Watson. That film bowed with $174 million in 2017 and grossed $1.2 billion during its entire theatrical run. Those two titles, along with “Alice in Wonderland,” are the only Disney live-action titles outside of the “Pirates” franchise that have debuted with over $100 million in ticket sales.

Given the size and scope of the blockbuster-hopeful, “The Lion King” is the lone wide release that weekend. No other studios dared to take on Mufasa and Simba.


More Film

  • 2020 Oscar Presenters: Zazie Beetz, Timothée

    Timothée Chalamet, Zazie Beetz, Gal Gadot Join List of 2020 Oscar Presenters

    Show producers Lynette Howell Taylor and Stephanie Allain have announced additional presenters for the 92nd Academy Awards telecast. Zazie Beetz, Timothée Chalamet, Will Ferrell, Gal Gadot, Mindy Kaling, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Anthony Ramos, Mark Ruffalo, Kelly Marie Tran and Kristen Wiig will be presenting statuettes during the evening’s ceremony. Though none are nominated for [...]

  • Palm Springs

    'Palm Springs': Film Review

    There are far worse places to be stuck for eternity than Palm Springs. Like Punxsutawney, the town Bill Murray can’t escape in “Groundhog Day,” for example. So many copycat time-loop movies have come along in the 27 years since that each new imitator can’t help sounding like a broken record, which is what makes Max [...]

  • American cinematographer Robert Richardson (L) and

    Poland to Build $200 Million Cinema Institution in Toruń

    Poland is setting up a new national cinema institution, named the European Film Center Camerimage, to be housed in a new building in Toruń at a cost of almost $200 million, which is scheduled to be completed in 2025. The director of the new body is Kazik Suwala, former office director of the Camerimage Film [...]

  • Into the Deep Review

    'Into the Deep': Film Review

    Documentary filmmaker Emma Sullivan was already there when inventor Peter Madsen’s submarine, the UC3 Nautilus, went missing off the coast of Copenhagen in August 2017, with journalist Kim Wall on board. Sullivan had been filming Madsen, a hobbit-y egotist with electric blue eyes, for 18 months, and until that day, she believed she was making [...]

  • China leads the world in volume

    China Suspends Film Shoots Across the Country as Coronavirus Epidemic Worsens

    The largest film studio on the planet, China’s Hengdian World Studios, has announced it will shut down indefinitely, as productions in other parts of the country also announce they are closing up shop in light of the worsening coronavirus epidemic.  On Monday, the local government management committee in charge of the experimental industrial zone where [...]

  • Kobe Bryant Oscar Win Dear Basketball

    Academy Planning Kobe Bryant Tribute During Oscar Ceremonies

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences will include a tribute to the late basketball icon Kobe Bryant during the 92nd Academy Awards ceremony on Feb. 9. “We can confirm that he will be acknowledged in the telecast,” an Academy representative told Variety. Bryant will be included in the In Memoriam montage of film [...]

  • Zola Cast at Sundance

    How Janicza Bravo and the ‘Zola’ Cast Brought the Viral Twitter Thread to Life

    Five years after A’Ziah Wells King posted the Twitter thread known as #thestory — a tale of how a trip from Detroit to Tampa, Fla., to earn money stripping quickly devolved into a wild ride, featuring a kidnapping, a shooting, sex trafficking and a suicide attempt — the real-life “Zola” is celebrating the film adaptation’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content